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greensboro, NC, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 70 reviews
  • 76 ratings
  • 283 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015

  • The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Charles Fishman
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The water coming out of your tap is four billion years old and might have been slurped by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. We will always have exactly as much water on Earth as we have ever had. Water cannot be destroyed, and it can always be made clean enough for drinking again. In fact, water can be made so clean that it actually becomes toxic. As Charles Fishman brings vibrantly to life in this delightful narrative excursion, water runs our world in a host of awe-inspiring ways, which is both the promise and the peril of our unexplored connections to it.

    Lynn says: "Informative Book"
    "water & greed & stupidity are not scarce"

    is our water supply really endangered or scarce ?
    should municipalities make water expensive or cost-free ?
    is there any part of modern life not influenced by water ?

    charles fishman provides an very entertaining answer to these questions
    the text shows he has studied these issues across history and culture
    but the lively and personal narrative style make it an easy read

    my favorite parts of the book deal with human stupidity and ingenuity
    the variety of responses to local water issues is simply astounding
    at times greed and fear seem as influential as rainfall and water treatment

    the bottom line seems to be that water is not really scarce
    but it will become a valuable commodity within the next generation
    as our grandparents would tell us, we must not take it for granted

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Walking Home: A Poet's Journey

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Simon Armitage
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The wandering poet has always been a feature of our cultural imagination. Odysseus journeys home, his famous flair for storytelling seducing friend and foe. The Romantic poets tramped all over the Lake District searching for inspiration. Now Simon Armitage, with equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation, as well as a wry humor all his own, has taken on Britain’s version of our Appalachian Trail: the Pennine Way.

    John S. says: "Not necessarily what you might imagine"
    "elegant literary stroll"

    ? does the idea of the whole appalachian trail intimidate you
    ? would the entire pacific crest trail be, just a bit too much
    the poet, simon armitage (SA) has a welcoming alternative for you

    SA admits that he now lives 3 miles from where he was born
    so he has no claims or pretensions, as to being an intrepid explorer
    he's pursuing a familiar stroll, in search of overlooked treasures

    the united kingdom's 268 mile pennine way fits the bill nicely
    it came into being about 40 years after the appalachian trail
    mostly it runs north-south down the wet, rocky, windy spine of britian

    SA covers about 10-15 miles a day and usually has only a day pack
    each night he raises $ and meets new friends by having poetry readings
    it lends a quirky, cozy balance to the obstacles and misadventures of the trail

    along the way, SA meditates about the therapeutic aspects of walking
    he believes it's a remedy for the aches and pains of aging and urban life
    if you're an anglophile adult in search of a tidy gem, this book is a good bet

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Killer Angels: A Novel of the Civil War

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Michael Shaara
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After 30 years and with three million copies in print, Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War classic, The Killer Angels, remains as vivid and powerful as the day it was originally published.

    Robert says: "One of my all time favorites"
    "severe mercy for a young nation"

    ? have you ever walked the battleground at gettysburg PA
    ? did you ever wonder how you'd have lived through the 1860's
    ? would you be drawn to a story that makes those 3 days come alive

    this pulitzer prize winning book was almost the life's work of (MS) michael shaara
    but, as his son explains, it did not become well known until years after his death
    that tragic fact, seems to fit with the sadness and weight of the tale he told

    it is no exaggeration to say gettysburg's 3 days changed our nation's history
    MS's book vividly animated the lives of the brave men caught in that struggle
    despite their painful efforts the battle's outcome was, in a sense, beyond them

    the founding father's postponement of the slavery issue could not endure
    the incorporation of the frontier into the union brought it to a national boil
    this is the sad story of the men who bleed and died at the crucible of that conflict

    formal portraits of confederate soldiers hung in my grandfather's virginia home
    (stonewall jackson, robert e. lee, john s. mosby, j.e.b. stuart et. al.)
    their weathered faces seemed so formal and distant to me, as a young boy

    after reading MS's vibrant book, the pictures have now come to life

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By David Michaelis
    • Narrated By Holter Graham

    Charles Schulz, the most widely syndicated and beloved cartoonist of all time, is also one of the most misunderstood figures in American culture. Now, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis gives us the first full-length biography of Schulz: at once a creation story, a portrait of a hidden American genius, and a chronicle contrasting the private man with the central role he played in shaping the national imagination.

    Bruce says: "Not as dark as you've heard"
    "an introvert's guide to the universe"

    ? have you seen (CS) charles schulz's charlie brown christmas special
    ? did you ever wonder where the "peanuts" comic strip came from
    ? did some of charlie brown's comical woes touch your soul

    david michaelis has a more than insightful story for you to explore
    the "peanuts" comic strip was a daily part of my youth in the 1960's
    the play "you're a good man charlie brown" had a 1,500 show run off broadway

    the strip was a highly autobiographical account of CS's youth and adulthood
    his intelligent, introspective and misanthropic style permeated each story
    CS's mother and first wife became the basis for lucy and other females

    graphic novels and storytelling seem to be the rage these days
    strips like "peanuts" seem quant and almost stodgy by comparison
    but knowing CS's back story made the comic strip come alive for me

    CS mined the misery and confusion of his youth for veins of comic gold
    later, the strip's simple style made it a safe venue to discuss hard problems
    i see it now, as a loving guide to adult life for the introspective child

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Eric Weiner
    • Narrated By Eric Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness". This uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is.

    Ben says: "Brew your coffee, get some cookies"
    "happiness / ? is it really a place / who knew"

    ? does contentment just seem to be beyond your grasp
    ? do other people look like they're happier than you are
    ? are there places on earth that are happier than other places

    eric weiner (EW) spent many years trotting the globe with NPR
    all that travel, lead him to see that "happy" isn't the same everywhere
    it made him wonder, are there places that are conducive to happiness ?

    the scope of his global "happiness" tour is truly impressive
    EW seems to have a genuine insight and affection for each new stop
    it helped me see how provincial our american standards are

    at several points in the book, EW confesses to "being a grump"
    most readers will have figured that out before his confession
    the book may be, for weiner, a literary distraction from himself

    the bliss he lacks may be hidden in the last place he looks, within himself

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work, and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

    Amazon Customer says: "An Excellent and Worthwhile Book"
    "arrogance / science / insight"

    ? does the noisy clutter of modern life fool and overwhelm you
    ? is it hard to sort out cause and effect and true meaning
    ? does it seem, you just can't connect the dots the way you'd like to

    nassim taleb (NT) has written an arrogant and insightful book for you
    he elegantly teases out the increasing role of randomness in our lives
    but his smug style, makes the truth of his message a bit hard to swallow

    most human beings aren't hard wired for dispassionate observation
    we bring with us prejudices, fears, doubts and a healthy dose of ignorance
    it's hard for us to tell the difference between "co-incident" and "caused"

    NT repeatedly relates the story of his many successes on wall street
    his ability to not "be fooled" has made him a gifted stock picker
    but making rich men richer wasn't enough for him, so he wrote this book

    the cognitive strain of insightful thinking may simply be beyond some people
    they're content to take what they're given and not sift it out too much
    but if you'd like to see through the BS, clutter and noise NT would like to help

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Playing the Enemy

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By John Carlin
    • Narrated By Gideon Emery
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Acclaimed journalist John Carlin provides a revealing look at the persuasive genius of Nelson Mandela. In a bold attempt to transcend old hatreds and unite a hopelessly polarized nation, President Mandela lays the groundwork for a miraculous metamorphosis during the 1995 Rugby World Cup at Cape Town.

    Luke A. Reynolds says: "Politics meets sports as the green and gold rises."
    "forgiving, skillful father of a nation"

    i should not pretend to be objective about this book
    this was my very first audiobook download
    it was the story that made me want to join AUDIBLE

    ? do you ever wonder how (SA) south african apartheid ended
    ? do you feel sport, at its' best, can sound an echo in men's souls
    ? does (NM) nelson mandela's rise to power seem beyond belief

    newspaper journalist john carlin weaves these threads together
    NM's nobility and moral courage can not be underestimated
    but, carlin helped me see NM's deep understanding of afrikaners

    his years in jail had given NM an intuition about white south africa
    he knew their necessities and wants and needs and fears
    he saw rugby as a direct path to their hearts and minds and souls

    the scenes of NM with the rugby team are especially moving
    their willingness to practice the new SA anthem, for him, stands out
    they tearfully comprehend what their success would mean to SA

    so many modern sports stories seem overhyped and synthetic
    that's not the case here, the hopes of an entire new nation were with SA rugby
    NM took those had been an enemy and played them into a new nation

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jack Handey
    • Narrated By Jack Handey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The legendary Deep Thoughts and New Yorker humorist Jack Handey is back with his very first novel - a hilarious, absurd, far-flung adventure tale. "Are you a fan of books in which famous tourist destinations are re-purposed as unlivable hellholes for no particular reason? Jack Handey's exotic tale is full of laugh-out-loud twists. A reliably unreliable narrator and his friend, who is some other guy, need to get out of town. They have a taste for adventure, so they pay a visit to a relic of bygone days - a travel agent - and discover an old treasure map."

    Cathleen says: "Mildly Entertaining, Not a good read"
    "perfect off-speed pitch"

    ? do most modern comedians just seem too frantic for you
    ? do their manic ravings tend to wear you out after a while
    ? does " funny " always need to be mach3 with your hair on fire

    SNL's jack handey is the practitioner of the sly comedic off-speed pitch
    he's the absolute master of the wry, kick-in-the-pants, backdoor laugh
    at times, the jokes would hit me as i was about to " drive by them "

    i've listened to the book three times, always on a long road trip
    the relaxed " don't rush me " style of the prose fits car travel well
    if you're more thoughtful than hyper, it might just suit you too

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • What It Is Like to Go to War

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Karl Marlantes
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In 1969, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his war experience.

    Lynn says: "Destined to become a Classic"
    "american bushido"

    i was only 17 years old when the vietnam draft ended
    the guys, a year ahead of me, were the last to " get a number "
    it was a ranking system based solely on your date of birth

    ? do you ever wonder what really makes warriors tick
    ? do you think you have the willful talents that combat requires
    ? does war's brutal majesty hold some fascination for you

    karl marlantes has written a more than thoughtful book for you
    it is a sequel to his excellent vietnam novel " matterhorn "
    this book beautifully outlines for americans " the way of the warrior "

    marlantes is obviously a troubled and more than talented man
    from a blue collar childhood in oregon to rhodes scholar at yale
    but then his almost visceral need for combat pulls him to vietnam

    ? how can i love a mean and evil thing so deeply, marlantes asks
    ? why does war make me feel alive, in a way, nothing else does
    ? how do i turn off my warrior self as i try to return to civilian life

    marlantes' post-vietnam life has been spent answering those questions
    in a way, the book is a deeply personal, philosophical wrestling match
    if those same issues churn in your soul; this book is a great guide

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Norman Dietz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Revolutionary for its realistic dialogue and uncompromising plot, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is arguably the greatest of all American novels, and a powerful sequel to Mark Twain's lighthearted classic, Tom Sawyer.Join the industrious, fiercely independent young Huck as he escapes his abusive, drunken father and sets out on an unforgettable journey down the Mississippi River.

    Tom says: "Great story-reader does a superior job"
    "an american heart, broken but resilient"

    allegedly, twain toured the south many years after the civil war
    the trip broke his heart, as he saw how little the region had changed
    he became despondent, thinking "...all that suffering was for naught..."

    it was that despair, that prompted him to write a companion to Tom Sawyer
    he turned his sadness and anger into our first and truest american voice
    the 2 basic american themes : slavery (race) and frontier (space) are joined

    twain's tone is bold, funny, sarcastic, sentimental, angry, kind and irreverent
    he simply refuses to apologize, for even one minute, for being an american
    we're not a footnote to the old world, he says, we have our own greatness

    the narration, by norman dietz, is exceptional in each of the many voices
    twain's humor makes the bitter pill of his social commentary easier to swallow
    each time i read the book, it makes me tearfully proud to be an american

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lawrence Wright
    • Narrated By Morton Sellers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attack. Based on more than 200 personal interviews with both current and former Scientologists - both famous and less well known - and years of archival research, Lawrence Wright uses his extraordinary investigative ability to uncover for us the inner workings of the Church of Scientology.

    Chris Reich says: "Scared the Hell Out of Me"
    "scientology is the answer to what question"

    are you a life long resident of southern california ?
    are you curious about john travolta and tom cruise ?
    can science fiction and pseudo religion really intersect ?

    well, lawrence wright has written a strong willed book for you
    his previous book was about the rise of al-queda
    i suspect that was good preparation for this current effort

    scientology's mildly talented founder was layfette ronald hubbard
    sadly, he died as a morbidly obese, chain smoker living in a trailer
    sounds a little more like west virginia than transcendent world leader

    mr. hubbard is clearly no match for mr. wright's keen, lawyerly insights
    documenting and dissecting scientology's flaws comes easily to mr. wright
    in the end, i was left wondering just who would find scientology appealing ?

    insecure, narcissistic and not terribly bright people seem to be its' main target
    i don't want to be unkind, but that covers about 1/2 of southern californians
    scientology's appeal to struggling actors and celebrities is almost intuitive

    in the years to come, i suspect there will be more and similar exposes
    the campy and mercenary aspects of scientology will be too hard to pass up
    as one reviewer said, mr. wright should be applauded for "...outing a bully..."

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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