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Martin A. Perea

ratings
2
REVIEWS
2
FOLLOWING
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HELPFUL VOTES
3

  • Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Jeanette Winterson
    • Narrated By Jeanette Winterson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (162)

    Jeanette Winterson’s bold and revelatory novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. This memoir is the chronicle of a life’s work to find happiness. It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser drawer; about growing up in a north England industrial town in the 1960s and 1970s; and about the universe as a cosmic dustbin.

    glamazon says: "The Title Says It All"
    "So well-written I had to buy the actual paper book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? to be better than the print version?

    It's a toss-up. With the book I can better revel in the great prose about Manchester or libraries, while I also enjoyed hearing the author speaking her own words in her own voice about her own life.


    What other book might you compare Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? to and why?

    Memoirs by other writers, coming out stories, growing up in a fundamentalist family stories, self-help stories about overcoming the past.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Especially loved Chapter 2 about the background of Manchester.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Realizations toward the end which I don't want to spoil.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Charles R. Morris
    • Narrated By David Colacci
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    In the 30 years after the Civil War, the United States blew by Great Britain to become the greatest economic power in world history. That is a well-known period in history, when titans like Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, and J. P. Morgan walked the earth. But as Charles R. Morris shows us, the platform for that spectacular growth spurt was built in the first half of the century. By the 1820s, America was already the world's most productive manufacturer and the most intensely commercialized society in history.

    Jean says: "How our industries started"
    "Couldn't put it down!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I was basically looking for something to fill in my gaps in knowledge of 19th Century history, and was expecting this to be informative but dry. Instead, I was surprised how much I loved this book! We get histories of the major players in the American industrial revolution, what they innovated and what effect their mass production had on society. I learned about company towns that sprang up in Massachusetts, New York and Ohio. The author quotes (often British) observers of this societal leap forward as varied as Frances Trollpe, Isabella Lucy Bird, and Dickens himself. The history begins with Marc Brunel's pulley block factory in Portsmouth, England which started the British industrial revolution, then continues on with his son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, considered one of the greatest Britons of all time. Then we move to America where the idea of mass production gets applied to nearly every possible commercial product possible. The author always notes how each industry changes American lives, whether the change occurs in war, transportation, clothing or diet. This book perfectly synthesizes in-depth information while taking the widest view possible. The eventual supremacy of the U.S. over Britain is always alluded to, but it is finally dealt with by examining the condescending attitudes toward American ingenuity that prevailed in Britain throughout the 19th Century. However, although Americans were incredibly adaptable, they also had the advantage of starting out in the comfortable position of Number Two, enabling them to develop others' long-gestating ideas, if not outright stealing them. The author then jumps ahead to the 1950s and 60s when Japan managed the same trick with the U.S., and today when China has begun to steal intellectual property from its close partners Germany and the U.S. You won't find many history books with a point of view that so clearly draws parallels between two centuries ago and today. This book was as thrilling as the time it evoked.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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