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Bookworm

ratings
51
REVIEWS
22
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
32

  • The Modern Scholar: A History of Venice: Queen of the Seas

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Thomas F. Madden
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (52)

    Renowned professor Thomas F. Madden focuses his expertise on what has been called the most beautiful city in the world: Venice. In these lectures, Professor Madden explains how the city on the lagoon was established by refugees escaping the onslaught of northern “barbarians” invading the crumbling Roman Empire. Through its history, Venice housed the world’s leading merchants, thrived as a maritime powerhouse, and developed into an independent republic not unlike the present United States.

    Bookworm says: "Absolutely fascinating"
    "Absolutely fascinating"
    Overall

    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.

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Alfred Lansing
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2897)
    Performance
    (2169)
    Story
    (2176)

    In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.

    Jennie says: "Unbelievably riveting!"
    "Almost unbelievable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ultramarathon Man: Confession of an All-Night Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Dean Karnazes
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (446)
    Performance
    (231)
    Story
    (233)

    Karnazes reveals the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada.

    Andrea says: "Not as self-congratulating as others have said"
    "Dean is amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Public Speaking: Lessons from the Greatest Speeches in History

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John R. Hale
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    Being a great public speaker can put you on the pathway to success, whether you're looking to teach, inform, persuade, or defend an idea. Yet many of us live in fear of public speaking. As you'll learn in these 12 invaluable lectures, all it takes is confidence, practice, and the knowledge of techniques and strategies used by history's greatest public speakers. Whether you want to finally become the confident public speaker you've always wanted to be or are just looking for fresh advice on how to strengthen your skills, this inspiring course is packed with practical advice.

    Mark says: "Fair to middling"
    "Very enjoyable book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John R. Hale
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Over the years, Classical archaeology has evolved from a pastime of collectors and antiquarians to a mature science. Today, the field is a multidisciplinary effort that involves not only traditional diggers, but also geologists, geographers, anthropologists, and linguists.These 36 lectures introduce you to this fascinating field of study. Professor Hale guides you through dozens of ancient sites with the skill of a born storyteller.

    Bookworm says: "Absolutely Fantastic!"
    "Absolutely Fantastic!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Rich Roll
    • Narrated By Rich Roll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (931)
    Performance
    (841)
    Story
    (839)

    An incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever

    In October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he saw where his sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Most of us look the other way when granted such a moment of clarity, but not Rich.

    J. Camara says: "Insightful conquering life's challenges"
    "OMG - My new hero"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sanctum: Guards of the Shadowlands, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Sarah Fine
    • Narrated By Amy McFadden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (133)

    A week ago, 17-year-old Lela Santos’ best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance - hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone - she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife. As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets.

    Gypsyjolie says: "unusual YA take on the afterlife/angels"
    "Exciting story, cliche characters"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Robert D. Kaplan
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (139)
    Story
    (139)

    In The Revenge of Geography, Robert D. Kaplan builds on the insights, discoveries, and theories of great geographers and geopolitical thinkers of the near and distant past to look back at critical pivots in history and then to look forward at the evolving global scene. Kaplan traces the history of the world's hot spots by examining their climates, topographies, and proximities to other embattled lands.

    C. Telfair says: "Why Don't They Teach This Stuff?"
    "Painful to listen to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • 36 Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Cathy Davidson
    • Narrated By Alexandra Bailey
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    In 1980 Cathy N. Davidson traveled to Japan to teach English at a leading all-women’s university. It was the first of many journeys and the beginning of a deep and abiding fascination. In this extraordinary book, Davidson depicts a series of intimate moments and small epiphanies that together make up a panoramic view of Japan.

    Bookworm says: "Fun book, insightful and informative"
    "Fun book, insightful and informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By David Herlihy
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In the late 1880s, Frank Lenz of Pittsburgh, a renowned high-wheel racer and long-distance tourist, dreamed of cycling around the world. He finally got his chance by recasting himself as a champion of the downsized "safety-bicycle" with inflatable tires, the forerunner of the modern road bike that was about to become wildly popular. In the spring of 1892 he quit his accounting job and gamely set out west to cover 20,000 miles over three continents as a correspondent for Outing magazine. Two years later, after having survived countless near disasters and unimaginable hardships, he approached Europe for the final leg. He never made it....

    Bookworm says: "Crazy story"
    "Crazy story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    Overall
    (1384)
    Performance
    (794)
    Story
    (808)

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Laurie says: "more than grapes of wrath"
    "Eyeopening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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