An amazing book on the history of Venice. Perfect for anyone who wants to visit. I would love if he did this series for several European cities.
I would liked to have heard more about the history of the Jews in Venice because I think that was a little white washed.
The story of a trip to the South Pole that ended in disaster. The struggles the people had to go through just to survive are amazing. The book was so fascinating, I bought the hardcover for my dad.
A wonderful true story about someone who had running talent as a boy, had his passion for running ruined by a careless comment from a mean coach, was going in a wrong direction as an adult, only to put on his running shoes in the middle of the night and not look back. He tells running stories that are almost unbelievable and definitely are inspirational.
I love the author and how he reads his book. He has a good sense of humor and does a great job of breaking down the art of speech making. Highly recommended.
I bought this book because I was looking for something about Greece. I thought it was about Greek architecture because I wasn’t paying that much attention since it was the only choice in Audible in the category of Greek history. So when I first started to listen to it, I was a little disappointed that it was about Greek and Roman Archaeology. Boy did my opinion change.
This audio book has 36 chapters covering the history of archeology, examples of different sites and social aspects (slaves and women).
The author, John Hale, is absolutely amazing. He tells stories in the old tradition, where you sit back and enjoy his voice, and lyrical tale. He somehow is able to wrap up the ending of each chapter with a wonderful bow that leaves you satisfied yet wanting more.
I came from very little knowledge about archaeology and left with a good basic understanding of the study. I will definitely try more of his lectures.
This deserves all the stars possible.
I absolutely LOVE Rich Roll and this book. I bought it on a recommendation from a triathlete coworker and I was so impressed, I bought the hardback. I can't say enough good things. This is about his transformation from an alcoholic, out of shape lawyer who ate trash to one of the fittest men in the world who cleaned up his mind and lifestyle. It's a perfect book to inspire you to become more. I can't even imagine doing the Epic 5 - 5 Ironman triathlons on 5 Hawaiian islands over 6 days. Insanity. He has a podcast and sells a few nutritional products on his Jai lifestyle website. This is a must read for every fitness advocate.
I started reading this book before knowing anything about it so I was surprised when the story went from her regular school life to falling off a cliff and dying very early on in the story.
I generally like books/movies with strong female characters so this had promise. The main character Lela started out as physically and emotionally strong in the beginning, became wimpy, foolish and lovestruck towards the middle and deteriorated into a weak Disney princess at the end. She was so self-absorbed thinking everything was about her and constantly apologizing. Get over yourself - the world does not revolve around you. Her character started out as a 10 and ended up as a 2.
The supporting character who commits suicide, Nadia starts out interesting but ends up like a boring zombie. I had no interest whether she stayed in purgatory forever or not.
I would have liked the characters to be less cookie-cutter and more internally conflicted. The good guys are all good, the bad guys are all bad - there is nothing complex about them. The most interesting characters have a bit of both (think Breaking Bad).
Aside from the teenage melodrama and angst, the concept of the underworld was very interesting and the description of the houses, the people and how things worked were fascinating. The story line was exciting and moved quickly.
I was a little confused at the end of the book - like why the characters ended up where they did with that particular job. I like stories being wrapped up so that was good but I definitely had a moment of "Wait. What?" It seems like the finale was crow-barred.
I really wanted to like this book because I love history and current events. Maybe my opinion of the book would have been different if I had read it instead of listening to it as an audiobook. The narration was so painful. He would stop in the dead center of a sentence so it sounded like this: "The mountains kept forces at bay." (stop) .......... (extremely long pause) "and this affected the type of army that the county would build." He especially did this after the word "which" and as you can easily imagine, that inappropriate pause broke up the entire train of thought.
The theory behind the book is that geography affects countries which affects war which affects current events. But the book is very disorganized - shooting from one country to another, with ancient history followed by current events. There has to be a better way to organize the topics.
This is the first time I have not finished a book but I couldn't take it anymore. I intend on making another effort but the fact that I consider reading this to be a chore says plenty.
The book makes me want to visit Japan.
The book discusses the author's 10 visits to Japan and how her view of the country changes over time. Because of this book, I bought another one about Japanese culture.
She described how women and men are treated differently in Japan and how an added complication arises when the woman is an American and a professional. I felt sad for the salarymen and the endless studying for students. Her description of the island of Oki sounds wonderful - swimming around collecting glass balls used in fishing. This is in contrast with the Practice House - a house associated with a women's college where women students are taught how to behave in America. The only problem is that the Practice House is stuck in the 1960's, which matches the assumption that women's role in America is to cook, clean and make crafts.
I understand that an experience in a different country is individualistic. It is not fair to criticize the book because it doesn't match another person's experience. Just appreciate it for what it is - a retelling of events that happened to that person, at that time, in the place.
I enjoyed learning about the author's experience in Japan.
This is a fun book especially if you have an interest in cycling. First - you can't imagine how those people could ride so far on the old style bikes, fully loaded with the old heavy cameras. It's hard enough riding on top-of-the-line bikes. Second, the feats are tremendous - traveling all over the world at a time when people rarely traveled to another state.
The story is about a man who wanted to ride around the world and ended up being killed in Turkey. Another cyclist was sent to uncover the mystery and he tried his best to bring the culprits to justice.
The book is a little slow in the beginning as it jumps from one set of characters to another and you don't understand the overlay. The book puts it together at about the midway point. It gets so frustrating towards the end because of all the political bs that the rescuer had to deal with - some things never change.
Stick with the book - you'll be happy you did.
We have all heard about the Dust Bowl in grade school but the horribleness never really sunk in. I didn't know it lasted years and the extent to which the area was destroyed. The book takes you on a journey from when the land was beautiful prairie for the cowboys and American Indians and then discusses how the cultivation of the land led to a fantastic bounty which led to its demise. And as bad as things got, people wouldn't leave - some out of choice and some because they refused to let go of their dreams. We learn about things that are so heartbreaking and we hope nothing this horrible ever happens again.
One of the best books of the year - highly recommended.
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