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david

I am self-absorbed and...oh wait this isn't an e-mail to my therapist. hehe I love the Science and Technology section here, it's my favorite. I hope to write my reviews at least well enough to peek the interest of a few listeners to the point where they will shift their tastes more toward educational literature, knowing that(after receiving some insight from me) they can be just as entertaining, if not more so than mainstream fiction

chesapeake, VA, United States

152
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 32 reviews
  • 185 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 36 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
24

  • The Bonfire of the Vanities

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Tom Wolfe
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (784)
    Performance
    (370)
    Story
    (379)

    Tom Wolfe's best-selling modern classic tells the story of Sherman McCoy, an elite Wall Street bond trader who has it all: wealth, power, prestige, a Park Avenue apartment, a beautiful wife, and an even more beautiful mistress - until one wrong turn sends Sherman spiraling downward into a humiliating fall from grace. A car accident in the Bronx involving Sherman, his girlfriend, and two young lower-class black men sets a match to the incendiary racial and social tensions of 1980s New York City.

    Alain says: "The Reader !"
    "I was riveted till the end!!!"
    Overall

    This had me gripped! I truly loved this book. There are so many other stories that got me hooked but being one of the newer ones it was easier and more fun for me. So many parts lasso me in because of the incredible description but though the older books are good it was so much better with this one being able to relate to all of the technical and mechanical stuff described.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time: Great Discoveries

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Michio Kaku
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (248)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (227)

    A dazzling tour of the universe as Einstein saw it. How did Albert Einstein come up with the theories that changed the way we look at the world? By thinking in pictures. Michio Kaku, leading theoretical physicist (a cofounder of string theory) and best-selling science storyteller, shows how Einstein used seemingly simple images to lead a revolution in science. With originality and expertise, Kaku uncovers the surprising beauty that lies at the heart of Einstein's cosmos

    david says: "Relatively Wonderful"
    "Relatively Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this. I enjoyed Walter Isaacson's Einstein, but this was more reader(listener) friendly. They both touched on many of interesting tidbits that are commonly unknown about the great natural philosopher/physicist, but this one seemed to shed light on those in a more compassionate way. This is not as comprehensive as Isaacson's biography, but it is much more warming, and leaves you with an interpretation of what many authors call his non-productive years, that is nearly 360 degrees different.

    The Narrator was fine, and the life of Dr. Einstein was told in such a way that even if you have read many other biographies on him, this will be different enough to warrant the purchase. Enjoy!

    25 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center

    • UNABRIDGED (35 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Ray Monk
    • Narrated By Michael Goldstrom
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (21)

    Robert Oppenheimer was among the most brilliant and divisive of men. As head of the Los Alamos Laboratory, he oversaw the successful effort to beat the Nazis in the race to develop the first atomic bomb – a breakthrough that was to have eternal ramifications for mankind and that made Oppenheimer the “Father of the Atomic Bomb.” But with his actions leading up to that great achievement, he also set himself on a dangerous collision course with Senator Joseph McCarthy and his witch-hunters. In Robert Oppenheimer: A Life Inside the Center, Ray Monk, author of peerless biographies of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bertrand Russell, goes deeper than any previous biographer in the quest to solve the enigma of Oppenheimer’s motivations and his complex personality.

    david says: "Nearly Perfect"
    "Nearly Perfect"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    He is a human being like the rest of us with some remarkable interests. This was a wonderful book for shedding light on, and expanding my understanding of the Manhattan Project. That is a pretty cool thing, being a Feynman fan it is cool to get stories that cross paths with his life line. This book gives us a peek into the lives of other great physicists of that age too which I also enjoyed. It is written well enough to have you emotionally attached and sympathizing for him as the course of his life is unfolded in such a seemingly complete way. Bravo to Ray Monk! If while reading(or listening) to a book I am brought to empathetic tears I am a fan. This book did that for me, as well as educated me on historical and physical matters concerning some of the most exciting parts of United States history.

    The narrator was perfect by my standards. My standards require for perfection a voice that is not annoying, and few pronunciation errors throughout the production. This fits that descriptions.

    I am not sure, but believe this is not in the Science and Technology section of Audible. I mention that because this was a book I believe I would have purchased long ago had it been cataloged there. I found this on the shelves of a Barnes and Noble and thought I would type it in to the search bar on Audible just for shits and giggles, and to my surprise it was there. Anyway, with some of the technical aspects of the science being done in the history observed in this book, Ray Monk gets very descriptive. That was a plus for me, but may seem unnecessary to many reader. The author also gives a short argument in the beginning of the book defending these lengthy technical inclusions.

    This is well worth the credit!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Science of Love and Betrayal

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Robin Dunbar
    • Narrated By Eric Brookes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    A scientific exploration of some of humanity's most puzzling questions: What is love? Why do we fall in (and out) of love? And why would we have evolved to feel something so weird, with so many downsides? Whether you live for Valentine's Day or are the type to forget your wedding anniversary, love is, quite simply, part of being human. In The Science of Love, renowned evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar uses the latest science to explore every aspect of human love.

    david says: "So So"
    "So So"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dunbar shares a great deal of interesting study results with us, all of which as far as I remember have been reference in other books on this site. He does weave them all into his own postulations about love and betrayal, but I find the study results here more interesting than his interpretations.

    The narrator with his accent was slightly annoying. At times he didn't seem to know where the mood of the paragraph was going, and came off as awkwardly inflected. It could be that I, after writing enough reviews here, am becoming overly critical(Na, he wasn't great).

    The analogs between human behaviors, and with animals are fun! Although I am not rating this very high, I can't say that it isn't worth a credit. There is plenty to be learned from this book, however will leave you hopefully believing that there are plenty other educational books that are in my opinion more valuable here on Audible.com.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Mario Livio
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    Throughout history, thinkers from mathematicians to theologians have pondered the mysterious relationship between numbers and the nature of reality. In this fascinating book, Mario Livio tells the tale of a number at the heart of that mystery: phi, or 1.6180339887.... This curious mathematical relationship, widely known as "The Golden Ratio", was discovered by Euclid more than 2,000 years ago. Since then it has shown a propensity to appear in the most astonishing variety of places.

    david says: "Φ The Other Cool Number"
    "Φ The Other Cool Number"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an inspiring listen about phi a name for the golden ratio; I found myself looking up more in-depth information on the web relating to some of the places where phi reveals itself. I haven't thought until now, to look up whether they have a phi day or not, but if not there certainly should be. There isn't much to say here that wouldn't just be spoiling the revelations in this book, other than it was organized well; mostly in chronological order, starting with many of the places speculated to have phi engineered into it, then explaining why many are spurious speculations. All famous mathematicians and other people mentioned are followed by the date of their birth and death. That was an enjoyable tidbit.

    About the narrator, I was pretty content with his performance. The few pronunciation errors that were made that I know of are common in other physics books here at audible.com as well. I have now only really fault the reader if it is just annoyingly read, and this was not one of those narrators.

    This was an all-around entertaining book. I don't expect more than this when I make purchases here. Not the best, but certainly worth a credit, and the time invested in listening to it. There is no reason not to follow up one of the books here on pi, with this one about the golden ratio.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Salem Falls

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Julia Gibson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (788)
    Performance
    (262)
    Story
    (262)

    Jack St. Bride was a popular teacher and soccer coach at a girls' prep school when he was falsely accused of statutory rape. Released after eight months behind bars, he arrives in Salem Falls hoping to start fresh. He lands a job washing dishes at the local diner and even falls in love with the owner, Addie. But then a spoiled local girl accuses Jack of assault, forcing his past into the open and turning the town against him.

    Ella says: "Great Ride!"
    "Some Drama & Tabboo Just For You"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't normally listen to or read fiction, but when I do I either get lucky picking the books, or just don't realize how entertaining it can actually be. This was fantastic! I enjoyed the characters, the discriptiveness of her sentencing, and the drama. Oh and the taboo also added to the appeal...whooa!

    The narrator was the best. She had different voicing for different characters, and seemed to express the intonations assocciated with the emotions being expressed in each of the quotes. I often wonder if the readers read each paragraph before recording to master the emotions, or just get lucky with a once through reading prior to recording. Either way this woman did a phenomenal job in my oppinion(if this comes off niave it is only because I don't have a large collection of fiction in my bag).

    I have to give this 2 thumbs up, and guess that all will be quite satisfied with this purchace, or at least not feel cheated with the expenditure of a credit. Enjoy all!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Amy Stewart
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    Overall
    (127)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (112)

    Every great drink starts with a plant. Sake began with a grain of rice. Scotch emerged from barley. Gin was born from a conifer shrub when medieval physicians boiled juniper berries with wine to treat stomach pain. The Drunken Botanist uncovers the surprising botanical history and fascinating science and chemistry of over 150 plants, flowers, trees, and fruits (and even a few fungi).

    Cynthia says: "No more cheap tequila!"
    "Drunken Reviewer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The amount of knowledge that can be gained from this book is extraordinary! I thought it was such a fun read, even if I didn't imbibe one mixed drink throughout the entire program. Even beer drinkers like myself can gain fun info about the making of, and some history of the processes that culminate with the delicious beverages that craft brewers make today!

    This book is not just for the college student that drinks and happens to be studying botany(or related fields), but for anyone that is curious about plants that just so happen to be made into alcoholic beverages. I was skeptical as to the level of enjoyment I could obtain from this subject matter, however with Amy Steward's fun, and sometimes sarcastic writing style I truly found myself interested in a new field of science!

    If you are just a drunk looking for recipes they are in here. If you never touched a drink in your life this is going to be exciting as well, as you will read of many famous consumers/creators that you may or may not be aware of and their escapades. If you are uninterested in consuming, you can still learn much from a botanical angle on many of the ingredients that go into a large chunk of the economic machine that turns the world.

    This has been one of the better finds on this site. I can't see anyone really being disappointed with this purchase. Enjoy!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lolita

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Vladimir Nabokov
    • Narrated By Jeremy Irons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1797)
    Performance
    (959)
    Story
    (953)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.

    Jim says: "An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
    "Let Me Count the Ways"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reading, and now the listening of this most grandiloquent piece of literary perfection brings me to a level of ebullience that Elisabeth Browning must have been feeling when she wrote How Do I Love Thee? This is the only book I have ever read that captures the ache, nay malaise that is caused by loving someone with a deepness expressed with all parts of one's soul and being, without the reciprocation by the one loved. This book accomplishes this feat with such belletristic guile, it leaves those who have had the pleasure of completing this book dumbfounded upon acknowledgement of this being Mr. Nabokov's second language! If the human heart was a combustion engine, this would be a fuel capable of running it through and on all cylinders. If H.H. can be considered the antagonist of this book, it leaves us feeling at least understanding of his situation, and at most and from a more demoniacal end of the spectrum, sympathetic. He has filled the book with foreshadowing that is really indecipherable until it is too late or upon rereading. It makes this a perfect book to read more than once. Anyone here on audible.com that hesitates to listen to this is making a grave mistake. This is quite possibly the best production on this website from a literary viewpoint. Have at it fellow audible fans!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Roger Penrose
    • Narrated By Bruce Mann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    From the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind and The Road to Reality, a groundbreaking book that provides new views on three of cosmology’s most profound questions: What, if anything, came before the Big Bang? What is the source of order in our universe? What is its ultimate future?

    Darkcoffee says: "Difficult, Awe-inducing and Fascinating"
    "Don't Go Here Unless..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is very difficult to digest. I loved it, but must reread(listen). This is a fascinating book in at least the regard to helping one realize, after reading a handful of physics books written for laymen, that physics is not as easy as one may think. If you hang out in the Science and Physics portion of Audible you have to give this one a try. Enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9968)
    Performance
    (5289)
    Story
    (5310)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Made Me Laugh and Cry!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really love a book that can run me through my emotions. This book was able to play my heart strings, from the beginning to the end! The character Pi has been developed so well, you can not help but love him, and root for his safe rescue or return to safety. If you like books where you are wiping tears off your face so you can finish an intensely written page, you are gonna love this(I predict future classic) in audible form, as you don't have to dry your eyes to continue along the trail of magnificent literature. Don't you dare hesitate to buy this one!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Joe Ochman
    Overall
    (569)
    Performance
    (487)
    Story
    (487)

    In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

    PHIL says: "Some good ideas, smart guy, not smart as HE thinks"
    "Grasping"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like Nassim Nicholas Taleb's other books; Fooled By Randomness, was a stand alone masterpiece, tying mathematics and story masterfully together. The Black Swan does the same thing, and did it receiving even more accolade! This book gets its theory across clearly enough, but just seems to carry on too long in many areas. It just seems to be over-reaching. It may very well be reaching in the right direction, and toward a noble concept, it just wasn't a direction I was as enthralled with as other titles by Taleb. If you are a Taleb fan, you have to get it, but if you are just in search of something new in the realm of laymen literature on statistics and mathematics, I suggest you start with his other stuff first. Or even The Drunkard's Walk by Leonard Mlodinow. Anyway...it was well read and transitioned well from section to section.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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