Once I stopped expecting a history of the beverage and realized that the author was summarizing aspects of world history as affected by the beverage I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the later material more so I think it helps to have a background understanding of the history to proivde context. A fun book.
I am listening to The Strangest Man The Hidden Life of Paul Direc and enjoying it very much BUT the reader makes a critical error at 6:25 into the first part. He adds "not" to a sentence describing Dirac's most important equation, the work for which he received the Nobel prize. One of the outstanding features is that the equation predicts the electron's spin. But the reader says "these properties could NOT have been predicted using the special theory of relativity and quantum mechanics." I check the book and the NOT is not in the text. Audible needs to correct this error as the mispeaking misrepresents both science and Dirac's most impressive work.
For those interested in these three great American generals this is a both 3 biograhies and detailed history of their activities in Europe during World War II. Because the author uses their words (diaries, letters, etc.), as well as those of their staff, the men come across as complex and sometimes contradictory men. The focus is narrow with little in the narrators voice but great wealth in Ike's, Brad's and George's voices and thoughts.
Told in a simple but very true voice, this story is fascinating. Chester's childhood as a traditional Navajo was a happy one of following the herds of sheep and goats until he was sent to boarding school. The school was very hard but he learned English and it was his dual fluency in Navajo and English that allowed him to be one of the original Code Talkers who developed the Navajo code that was one of the most valuable weapons the marines had in the Pacific. Using the code machine it could take 30 minutes to transmit and tranlate a message that the code talkers could sent in 20 seconds. Chester served as a code talked on Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Guan and Peleiliu (the worst battle of the war one marine general said). His life was one of hardship and bravery but he think he only did what was expected and says that Navajo feel one should not praise behaior that is expect. A moving, thought provoking story.
The narrator's voice suited the story beautifully. I easily imagined I was hearing Chester speak.
It is so easy to take antibiotics for granted. Everyone in the first world is used to the idea that there are drugs that can cure strep, staph, TB, just about any infectious disease. But in the 1920s the President of the United States lost his 12 year old son to an infected blister. 10 years later another President's son was saved by sulfa. The discovery of the first effective sulfa antibiotic took the patience of years of work and hundreds of compounds tested. This books made me want to learn more about the miracle that is antibiotics.
Major (NOT Mr.) Pettigrew and Mrs. Ali were delightful characters. The major was stuffy and old-fashioned and yet very sympathetic. I even forgave his prejudice against Americans. The plot kept surprising me by not folowing the expected sterotypes. Roger, the Major's son, was the character you love to despise. I loved the characters so much I bought a paper copy of the novel and my husband also got hooked by the characters. A delightful story.
I wanted to like this book but the overly simplistic plotting and writing were a disappointment. It seems like I was reading a book aimed at a Jr High audience.
Georgette Heyer's books are always enjoyable and Phillip's makeover from country bumpkin to extreme man about town is great fun. But the depiction of the young heroine as flighty and desiring Phiilip to dominate her annoyed me. It is a realistic portrayal of many young girls but not one I enjoy now that I am older. Still, I think many would enjoy the book.
The inital chapters were interesting,although I still think there are cases of outstanding genius. But, given that the key to success is practice at the edge of one's ability, I don't see and the author doesn't make a strong case for applicability to work.
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