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Timothy

College Station, TX, United States | Member Since 2011

70
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 41 reviews
  • 43 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
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FOLLOWERS
7

  • Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Rob Bell
    • Narrated By Rob Bell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (535)
    Performance
    (308)
    Story
    (309)

    Millions of Christians have struggled with how to reconcile God's love and God's judgment: Has God created billions of people over thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell? Is this acceptable to God? How is this "good news"? Author, pastor, and innovative teacher Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance.

    Paula says: "Easy reading, straight forward, life changing"
    "Every Christian needs to read this!"
    Overall

    Every Christian, and every non-Christian or ex-Christian who's written off Christianity because of it's teachings about "eternal torment" and it's exclusivism (only a few saved), needs to read this book.

    Incidentally, even though I say "read", I do think that listening to this audio presentation is a far superior experience to reading the text (which I've also done). Rob has a great speaking voice, but for some reason he loves to write everything as if it's poetry, with various kinds of "pretty" formatting, which annoyed me to no end while reading the hardback book. I guess he was trying to be clever in his presentation, but he needn't have done that, his content speaks for itself.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Free: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

    • UNABRIDGED (15 mins)
    • By James Thurber
    • Narrated By Ben Stiller
    Overall
    (2669)
    Performance
    (2376)
    Story
    (2403)

    Mild-mannered Walter Mitty is a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. This well-known and beloved tale has launched its famous protagonist into the cultural lexicon, warranting his inclusion in English-language dictionaries and countless anthologies. Stiller's imaginative performance as Mitty is the perfect re-introduction to the classic character and a great preface to the upcoming film, for longtime fans and new listeners alike.

    Dave says: "We Only Live Once. Or Do We?"
    "Cool to hear Stiller read, but NOT like the movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was cool to hear Ben Stiller (who starred in the movie adaptation) read this book, but the story in the book is nothing like the movie.

    There's a guy who sometimes daydreams of a life different than his own. That's literally the ONLY similarity between this story and the movie version.

    The story here is much more depressing than the movie. A sad story about a person who dreams of a different life, but never does anything about it. The ending of this story is very sad and depressing. That's not to say it's poorly written, or not interesting, or anything -- just don't get this thinking you're going to relive the movie experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Orphan Master's Son: A Novel of North Korea

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Adam Johnson
    • Narrated By Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1057)
    Performance
    (916)
    Story
    (923)

    Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

    Lisa says: "The most compelling listen I've ever owned"
    "Couldn't follow the story, or finish it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Everyone's heaping praise on this book, and it got a Pulitzer I think, so I picked it up, hoping for a great story.

    For one thing, it was often hard for me to understand the narrator.

    Another problem is that the narrative seems to jump around without enough cues to let me know what's happening. I had a very difficult time following it.

    It may be a cultural disconnect on my part, but I just had the hardest time understanding what people were doing, and why they were acting the way they were. Many times things that were happening just didn't seem to make any sense to me.

    I stopped listening about 3/4 or maybe 4/5 in. Just couldn't stay interested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Chindi: Academy Series

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Jack McDevitt
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam, Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (205)
    Performance
    (88)
    Story
    (88)

    The universe has been explored - and humanity has all but given up on finding other intelligent life. Then an alien satellite orbiting a distant star sends out an unreadable signal. Is it the final programmed gasp of an ancient, long-dead race? Or the first greeting of an undiscovered life form?

    Robert says: "Everything You Want in a Sci-Fi Novel"
    "One of my favorite books ever, narration not great"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of my favorite sci-fi books of all time. I read it (print version) many years ago and it blew me away.

    I was very exited to find this available on Audible, so I got it, but I was less than thrilled with the audio version because of the narrator. She sounds too young and ... well, kind of valley-girl-ish. I don't know if that's an apt description -- she did not sound like I expected Priscilla Hutchins to sound. Not enough gravitas. Too teeny-bopper-ish, or something.

    I did not get the same vibe from "Deepsix", yet I see that it's narrated by the same person. "The Engines of God" has a different narrator, and it is far and away the best of the series so far, in audiobook form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Rosemary Mahoney
    • Narrated By Rosemary Mahoney
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    Rosemary Mahoney tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye Tenberken, the remarkable blind woman who founded the school. Fascinated and impressed by what she learned from the blind children of Tibet, Mahoney was moved to investigate further the cultural history of blindness. As part of her research, she spent three months teaching at Tenberken's international training center for blind adults in Kerala, India, an experience that reveals both the shocking oppression endured by the world's blind, as well as their great resilience.

    Stacy says: "A Dispatch from a Person who is Blind"
    "A great read, if kind of boring in parts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Parts of this book were excellent, parts a little dry. I learned a lot about blindness, and how blind people operate, and was entranced by several parts where life at a blind school, led by blind administrators, was described in detail.

    The scene where the power goes out at the school, and she contrasts her experience with the blind students and administrators (who didn't even know the power had gone out, and were going about their normal routines) brought me to tears, and I will not soon forget it.

    Ms. Mahoney delivers an excellent performance reading her own book.

    I might have given it 5 stars, if it weren't for some fairly long stretches where she just seemed to go into far too much detail. At one point a walk down the street goes on for half an hour or so as she describes every pot hole, every insect and virtually every blade of grass. This kind of thing happens several times and I was sorely tempted to fast-forward a few times.

    I think I understand what she was trying to do in those parts, but at times I felt she was just going a bit too far with the detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1466)
    Performance
    (1340)
    Story
    (1332)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Good premise, interesting parts, poor ending"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book starts out like a good Twilight Zone episode. It maintains that feel for several chapters before revealing itself as a sci-fi story. I think maybe the author was trying to interject some "horror" elements, but if so he failed. By that I mean that the horror elements are delivered in such a way that the reader is not invested in them, and knows the outcome ahead of time, so there's no real "horror" to be had.

    I will not give away the ending, except to say that it left this listener very dissatisfied.

    Also, there are several points where the certain ridiculous story elements had me laughing at points that were not supposed to be funny.

    For example, at one point a character is shut up in a mausoleum with concrete walls thick enough to block all radio transmissions, but when old-style land-line telephones begin ringing all over town (keep in mind that he's deep in a cemetery at the time, far from any of these phones), they make a loud noise he's able to hear.

    Anyway, the negatives were not enough to make me stop listening. I've no doubt that many will find this book enjoyable. For me though, I guess I would say that it's just instantly forgettable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Year Zero: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Rob Reid
    • Narrated By John Hodgman
    Overall
    (1009)
    Performance
    (922)
    Story
    (921)

    Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it's a prank, not an alien encounter, when a redheaded mullah and a curvaceous nun show up at his office. But Frampton and Carly are highly advanced (if bumbling) extraterrestrials. And boy, do they have news. The entire cosmos, they tell him, has been hopelessly hooked on humanity's music ever since "Year Zero" (1977 to us), when American pop songs first reached alien ears. This addiction has driven a vast intergalactic society to commit the biggest copyright violation since the Big Bang.

    Robert says: "Fantastic Performance by Hodgman"
    "Rob Reid is the true successor to Douglas Adams!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am a big fan of sci-fi, and of Douglas Adams, but I will readily admit that I would never have bought this book on it's summary description alone. A lawyer for the music industry represents aliens hooked on pop music? For some reason, any book involving a lawyer sounds boring to me.

    It took a friend's exuberant recommendation to get me to take the risk and spend a credit on this audiobook. I was glad I did! This book is far from boring. And not only that, once you get into it, the premise actually makes sense! The book is surprisingly grounded in believable scientific concepts, and the premise, which sounds ludicrous in the summary blurb, actually becomes believable when you read it in context.

    This book is hilarious, entertaining, bizarrely scientifically grounded, and ends with a fourish that actually had me laughing out loud! This is not the first book I've read that was heralded as "the next Hitchhiker's Guide", but it's the first that truly deserves that comparison.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Max Tegmark
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    Overall
    (182)
    Performance
    (161)
    Story
    (163)

    Max Tegmark leads us on an astonishing journey through past, present and future, and through the physics, astronomy, and mathematics that are the foundation of his work, most particularly his hypothesis that our physical reality is a mathematical structure and his theory of the ultimate multiverse. In a dazzling combination of both popular and groundbreaking science, he not only helps us grasp his often mind-boggling theories, but he also shares with us some of the often surprising triumphs and disappointments that have shaped his life as a scientist.

    Michael says: "Wow!"
    "Took a long time to get to the point"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found this book disappointing, mainly because the author does not even begin to address his supposedly ground-breaking, controversial new theory until about 3/4 through the book. Everything before that is review. If you've studied physics and cosmology, or read a lot of Hawking, Greene, Mlodinow, etc., you will be bored through this part (which, I repeat, is most of the book). If this is the first book you've read on the subject, you might not mind this.

    I will also say that Mr. Tegmark dips into some pretty far-out ideas from time to time, and I felt like he was trying to defend as science, some ideas that were plainly not science. Of course, he says they are science, so maybe I'm just wrong about that.

    When he does finally get to talking about "Our Mathematical Universe" (there's a chapter in the book where he clearly announces something like "now I'm going to start talking about my new theory...". Again, that's about halfway through the second part of the audiobook), it's pretty interesting for a while. But it seemed like it quickly became hard to hold my attention to the reading. This may have been my own fault, but it seemed like he was just getting too far into fringe science for me, and kind of rambling. It's not that I reject his theory. Actually, he may be on to something (his "new theory" was covered briefly in one of Brian Greene's books, by the way, so it's not that new -- or maybe Greene got it from him?)

    Anyway, I did find Mr. Tegmark's many anecdotes about his life as a student, a scientist and a father interesting and it was cool how he integrated his own experiences with the science he was presenting. I did feel that I learned some things from this book, so I can't give it that bad of a review.

    In general, I would just warn the reader: if you're not new to physics and cosmology, be ready to wade through a LOT of review before getting to anything new.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Daniel C. Dennett
    • Narrated By Kevin Stillwell
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (54)

    In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet", focuses his unerringly logical mind on the theory of natural selection, showing how Darwin's great idea transforms and illuminates our traditional view of humanity's place in the universe. Dennett vividly describes the theory itself and then extends Darwin's vision with impeccable arguments to their often surprising conclusions, challenging the views of some of the most famous scientists of our day.

    Gary says: "Sky Hooks need not apply."
    "Interesting at the beginning, gets boring..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Right up front I will admit: I did not finish this book. I got about 2/3 through and stopped.

    Daniel Dennett may be one of the "four horsemen" of the new atheism, but if so, he's the most boring of the four. He obviously idolizes Richard Dawkins. Everything Dawkins ever said is profound in the extreme. There's no need to read "The Blind Watchmaker" or "The Selfish Gene" if you read this, because Dennett quotes virtually every sentence in those books, and wastes no opportunity to tell us how profound and original each one is.

    On the other hand, he absolutely despises Steven Jay Gould. He spends a majority of the latter half of the book outlining everything that's wrong with everything Gould ever said or did.

    The first half of the book did have some interesting stuff. There was a chapter about John Conway's Life simulation that was very interesting. Some interesting stuff about memes (that I'd already read in Dawkins, of course, but still interesting). But then he decided to dedicate the rest of the book (or a very large chunk of it) to lambasting S. J. Gould, and to a lesser extent Noam Chomsky. Also, everyone who ever said a word in support of Gould is an idiot. I fast-forwarded to close to the end and he was still at it. At that point I called it quits.

    I'm giving the book three stars mainly because I did enjoy the first half.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By M. L. Stedman
    • Narrated By Noah Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1149)
    Performance
    (1018)
    Story
    (1000)

    In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.

    Sandra says: "Wonderful story.....terrible narrator."
    "One of the best I've read in a while."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've just finished this excellent book this morning, and I'm still a bit lost in its spell. What a story! I cried more than once (and for more than one reason), laughed several times, actually felt sick a few times, and on more than one occasion felt myself completely taken up in it, which is the highest praise I can give a book.

    I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, compelling, and deeply moving story.

    The only complaint I have is that the narrator would often sort of trail off at the end of a sentence. In every other respect, he was a fine narrator. As I understand it, he's an Australian himself, so that helps lend the story some authenticity.

    A lot of reviewers here have really been hard on the narrator, some going so far as to say he ruined the book for them. I did not feel it was quite that bad. I simply turned the volume up a bit higher than normal, so that when he trailed off, he was still easily audible. It did make him a bit loud at times, but I was ok with that.

    The book and story are so utterly compelling, it's worth putting up with the narrator's imperfections.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Richard Panek
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (532)
    Performance
    (379)
    Story
    (375)

    Over the past few decades, a handful of scientists have been racing to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only four percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every star and planet. The rest is completely unknown. Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of the quest to find this “dark” matter and an even more bizarre substance called “dark energy”. This is perhaps the greatest mystery in all of science, and solving it will bring fame, funding, and certainly a Nobel Prize.

    Adam says: "Excellent survey of Cosmology and Astrophysics"
    "Dull as sticks history book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm sorry, this is not a book about "Dark Matter" or "Dark Energy", or even "The 4% Universe". The only part of the title that gives a hint as to what this book is about is the "Race to Discover..." part, but even that is making it sound more interesting than it is.

    What this really is, is a dull account of how a lot of scientists haggled and fought over who'd get the credit for various discoveries. It's exceedingly dull. If you're interested in the discoveries themselves, and in learning interested and wonderful facts about our universe, read something by Brian Greene or Stephen Hawking or Leonard Mlodinow. If you haven't yet read everything Carl Sagan wrote, then read one of those. Only read this if you want to know how prideful, self-important scientists fought each other over who got the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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