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Michael Trick

Operations researcher

Pittsburgh | Member Since 2004

38
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 15 ratings
  • 338 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2014
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  • The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By A. J. Jacobs
    Overall
    (375)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (145)

    Our fearless author, A. J. Jacobs, tackles a new intellectual adventure, an exploration of the most influential book in the world: the Bible. He determined that the best way to explore the Bible was to live it, as literally as possible. For one year.

    Jonathan says: "Excellent... But tongue in cheek"
    "Too short!"
    Overall

    While the hook is "What happens if you try to follow all the rules in the bible", the author really is a man who want to be a better person (just like he wanted to be a smarter person in his previous book) who uses the bible as a guide. Note that the author begins relatively non-religious, and he does not really "find" religion, so this is not a devout handling of the material. The book is generally very funny, but is poignant in parts. It took a bit to get used to the author's reading (I had liked the reader on his first book), but he adds the right touches without feeling like he was acting the book.

    My only regret is that it is abridged: I enjoyed it enough that now I either have to get the book to see what I missed, or wait for an unabridged reading and go through it again.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Ready Player One

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Ernest Cline
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8893)
    Performance
    (8273)
    Story
    (8272)

    At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.

    Travis says: "ADD TO CART, POWER UP +10000"
    "Got me back into listening"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've been an audible member since at least 2004 with a few hundred books in my library. But I haven't been listening to many books recently, and even considered whether to continue or not.

    That was until I listened to Ready Player One, with Wil Wheaton as the narrator. This reading reminded me of the magic that happens when exactly the right reader handles a book. Wil was born to read this book. As a book based on 1980s geek culture, Wil (through his character on Star Trek: The Next Generation) was part of that geek culture. But since then, he has really embraced his inner geek. In fact, as he was reading this, I had to keep reminding myself that he was not simply doing his autobiography. He clearly has a feel for this world, and his intonation is spot on. I cannot imagine anyone doing this book the justice he does.

    Beyond Wil's masterful reading, the book is a delight. The characters are perhaps not as 3 dimensional as one would want, but the world they live in is fully wrought, and a natural future for the world we live in. Part dystopia (the real world) and part utopia (the online world many choose to live in), the world is believable, scary and appealing, all at once.

    So, sign me up for another year: I have refound my enthusiasm for the magic that happens when the right book meets the right reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By A. J. Jacobs
    • Narrated By A. J. Jacobs
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    A collection of A.J. Jacobs' most hilarious and thought-provoking experiments yet. In his role as human guinea pig, Jacobs fearlessly takes on a series of life-altering challenges that provides readers with equal parts insight and humor. (And which drives A.J.'s patient wife, Julie, to the brink of insanity.)

    David says: "Laugh out loud"
    "Lots of fun!"
    Overall

    Unlike Jacobs' previous books, this one doesn't have a single "experiment". Rather, each chapter is an examination of single effect, like a month of full honesty, or trying to live like George Washington. While I prefer the depth of the "single themed" books (reading the encyclopedia or living the Bible), these chapters are lots of fun. I particularly liked the chapter where he outsourced his life, and (among other things) paid someone in India to argue with his wife.

    The only downside of the book is its length: at under seven hours, I want more!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Good Book: Things I Learned When I Read Every Single Word of the Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Plotz
    • Narrated By David Plotz
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (301)
    Performance
    (100)
    Story
    (103)

    Good Book is what happens when a regular guy actually reads the book on which his religion, his culture, and his world are based. Along the way, he grapples with the most profound theological questions: Does God prefer obedience or good deeds? And the most unexpected ones: Why are so many women in the Bible prostitutes? Why does God love bald men so much? Is Samson really that stupid? Good Book is an irreverent, enthralling journey through the world's most important work of literature.

    Ron says: "Rollicking trip through the Old Testament"
    "Lots of fun!"
    Overall

    Wildly entertaining and humorous. The short sections also make this ideal for listening to off-and-on. The narrator (who is also the author) has just the right tone for the book. While most of the book is a romp through the Old Testament, the final discussion of how this reading affected the author's faith was insightful and thought provoking.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Thud!: Discworld #30

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Stephen Briggs
    Overall
    (964)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (418)

    Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch will be damned if he lets anyone disturb his city's always tentative peace, and that includes a rabble-rousing dwarf from the sticks who's been stirring up trouble on the eve of the anniversary of one of Discworld's most infamous historical events.

    Barbara says: "Better with each novel"
    "For Pratchett fans"
    Overall

    Commander Vimes and the watch are back, sorting out an explosive situation between trolls and dwarves. This book shows Pratchett's characteristic clever word-play and has an underlying social commentary on fundamentalism and conflict. I enjoyed the reading very much, but cannot recommend this except to those who have already read at least six or so of Pratchett's books. The cast of characters is large, and it helps to know a lot about Vimes, Colon, Nobby, and the rest before tackling this book. This book also has an unusual lack of "Diskworld" aspects: there is a bit of magic, but the world seems a little less weird than the world in most of Prachett's novels.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Pride and Prejudice

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jane Austen
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1464)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (630)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It is a truth universally acknowledged that anyone looking for a great listen won’t be able to resist Jane Austen’s delightful classic of love and manners in Regency England. Jane Austen's story of Mrs. Bennet's finding husbands for her daughters is told with wit and charm. A must for lovers of good literature. Commuters Library presents Pride and Prejudice read by Kate Reading.

    Victoria says: "loved it."
    "Humor enhanced by the reader"
    Overall

    As another reviewer wrote, there are hundreds of reviews of Pride and Prejudice about. It is a classic of English literature. But it is also an extremely humorous book! From the exasperation of the daughters towards their father to the awkward unexpected meetings, there is humor throughout the book. And the reader has just the right touch to bring that humor out. The timing and the tone is perfect and adds greatly to the words.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Master and Commander: Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Patrick O'Brian
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (606)
    Performance
    (237)
    Story
    (239)

    This, the first in the series of Jack Aubrey novels, establishes the friendship between Captain Aubrey, R.N., and Stephen Maturin, ship's surgeon and intelligence agent, against the thrilling backdrop of the Napoleonic wars. Details of life aboard a man-of-war in Nelson's navy are faultlessly rendered: the conversational idiom of the officers in the ward room and the men on the lower deck, the food, the floggings, the mysteries of the wind and the rigging.

    Lisa says: "Surprised that I loved it!"
    "Great series, wrong reader"
    Overall

    Since Patrick Tull's reading of the entire 20 book series is available, that edition is, in my view, a much better choice. A matter of taste, of course, but Tull adds depth that I find missing with this reader.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Equal Rites: Discworld #3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Celia Imrie
    Overall
    (1176)
    Performance
    (490)
    Story
    (497)

    Lisa L. Hilton says: "Lots of fun"
    "Good reading!"
    Overall

    I thought the reader was delightful! While I am a big fan of Nigel Planer, Ms Imrie provides variety, and definitely provides her own spin. As for the book, the humor is a little subdued compared with some of the others in the series: I found my interest was more in the details of the world, how it works, and how people fit into it. One of the delights of the series is how it veers from slapstick to fairy tale, with this more of the latter.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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