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Susan

Hopkins, MN, USA | Member Since 2005

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 208 ratings
  • 500 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Jared Diamond
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1309)
    Performance
    (256)
    Story
    (261)

    In this groundbreaking work, evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history by revealing the environmental factors actually responsible for history's broadest patterns. It is a story that spans 13,000 years of human history, beginning when Stone Age hunter-gatherers constituted the entire human population. Guns, Germs, and Steel is a world history that really is a history of all the world's peoples, a unified narrative of human life.

    Lorac says: "Badly Abridged"
    "Where is the Unabridged?"
    Overall

    I listened to this abridged book for a book club and I thought it was very interesting. However, I missed important concepts that the other readers in my book club picked up from the reading the entire book. When and if the unabridged is available, I want to listen to that.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Applied Economics: Thinking Beyond Stage One

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Brian Emerson
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    This book is geared to the average citizen with little or no economics background who would like the tools to think critically about economic issues. Many of today's economic issues are obscured by their inherent complexity and the often confusing and conflicting views coming from political talking heads. Sowell, a leading conservative economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, seeks to alleviate this confusion.

    Sierra Bravo says: "Intelligent"
    "Conservative Agenda"
    Overall

    While you have to love a book on economics--who wouldn't--I am not sure I can heartily recommend this book. I enjoyed it, and the author explains the concepts in an interesting and enlightening way. However,he follows systems thinking back to a point that always makes an argument for a conservative agenda and stops conveniently at that point. Moreover, I work in health care, and I don't think he had a strong grasp of the economic challenges in health care. I would recommend reading it, but be careful about swallowing his conclusions.

    9 of 31 people found this review helpful
  • Angela's Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (2620)
    Performance
    (1397)
    Story
    (1401)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

    Karen says: "A classic book *and* a classic audiobook"
    "Moving and Entertaining"
    Overall

    The author is one of the best readers I have heard on an audiobook. I have heard that this book can be depressing, but I really felt like it showed over and over the kindness of strangers during difficult times. The sense of humor of the author comes through clearly in the audiobook. I burst into laughter several times.

    Toward the end of the book, the story becomes rather obsessed with sex, which makes the book inappropriate for children. But it is a reflection of life during adolescence, and really shows the conflicts that arise when one's feelings interfere with religious upbringing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Case for Christ: A Journalist's Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Lee Strobel
    • Narrated By Dick Fredricks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (638)
    Performance
    (263)
    Story
    (265)

    Is there credible evidence that Jesus of Nazareth really is the Son of God? Lee Strobel cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis. Strobel challenges them with questions like. How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence exist for Jesus outside the Bible? Strobel's tough questions make this read like a captivating, fast-paced novel. It's a riveting quest for the truth about history's most compelling figure. What will your verdict be?

    Jeff says: "Interesting Approach to the New Testament"
    "One-Sided Journalism"
    Overall

    I was disappointed in the approach of the author. The author, a journalist with expertise in law, plays devil's advocate and asks the leading Christian experts to answer the difficult questions he poses. As expected, they answer them all very convincingly. However, what would have been more meaningful would have been to first interview the Christian experts, then interview experts that did not agree, and then give both sets of experts a chance for rebuttal. For example, when he investigates the Jesus Seminar, he doesn't interview the leadership of the Jesus Seminar, but the leading expert AGAINST the movement.

    I am a Christian, and I hope I don't ever find evidence that Jesus is less than what the New Testament says he is. But this biased approach just makes me feel as if there something hidden, something more to the story that has been suppressed.

    12 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Washington Square

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Donna Barkman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    This novel tells the story of Catherine Sloper, the plain, obedient daughter of the widowed, well-to-do Dr. August Sloper of Washington Square. When a handsome, reckless man-about-town proposes to Catherine, her father forbids the marriage because he believes the man to be after Catherine's fortune and future inheritance. The conflict between father, daughter, and suitor provokes consequences in the lives of all three that make this story one of James's most piercingly memorable.

    Heidi says: "Interesting"
    "Poor Audio Quality"
    Overall

    This book is not of the sound and dramatic quality I generally have found in audiobooks. In addition, I am not sure that the reader interpreted the character voices as the author intended.

    2 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Mark Haddon
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    Overall
    (4231)
    Performance
    (1931)
    Story
    (1949)

    Fifteen-year-old Christopher Boone has Asperger's Syndrome, a condition similar to autism. He doesn't like to be touched or meet new people, he cannot make small talk, and he hates the colors brown and yellow. He is a math whiz with a very logical brain who loves solving puzzles that have definite answers.

    Robert says: "Endearing. Pathos, humor, reality, and insight."
    "Understanding Autism"
    Overall

    I listened to this book for our Diversity Book Club at work. It was so helpful in understanding autism--in particular, it demostrates the difficult challenges faced by the families of disabled children. As a society, we need to do all we can do to support families who are raising disabled children.

    This approach of the author really helps the reader (or listener)to understand what it is like to have autism. The autistic child in the first person describes in great detail the events around him, but he can't put together the obvious. It really is a pleasant "who done it" mystery for the listener.

    This book is definitely not for kids. I wish there was a "G" rated version--except for the murder of the dog at the beginning of the story and the constant use of the "F" word, I think it is very educational. I know my son has classmates with autism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Francis S. Collins
    • Narrated By Francis S. Collins
    Overall
    (779)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (182)

    Dr. Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project, is one of the world's leading scientists, yet he is also a man of unshakable faith in God and scripture. Dr. Collins has resolved the dilemma that haunts everyone who believes in God and respects science. Faith in God and faith in science can be harmonious, not separately but together, combined into one worldview. For Collins, science does not conflict with the Bible, science enhances it.

    Stephen says: "For those on the fence"
    "Now I Understand"
    Overall

    As a Christian and a non-scientist, I have always struggled with the apparent conflict between the Bible and science. While I wanted so much to believe the Christian faith, I just could never accept that God would "trick" us by putting dinasours on earth and by putting in place such strong evidence for evolution.

    This book answers all the questions, and allows me to keep my precious belief in God and also to embrace science. I wish this book had been available years ago. I can't thank the author enough for writing this--it has brought me such peace.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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