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david

A fellow listener inclined to share my opinion on these productions. Maybe even inspire someone toward a powerful, or educational audiobook!

chesapeake, VA, United States | Member Since 2009

170
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 35 reviews
  • 202 ratings
  • 678 titles in library
  • 70 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
27

  • Mastery

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert Greene
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (945)
    Performance
    (835)
    Story
    (829)

    What did Charles Darwin, middling schoolboy and underachieving second son, do to become one of the earliest and greatest naturalists the world has known? What were the similar choices made by Mozart and by Caesar Rodriguez, the U.S. Air Force's last ace fighter pilot? In Mastery, Robert Greene's fifth book, he mines the biographies of great historical figures for clues about gaining control over our own lives and destinies. Picking up where The 48 Laws of Power left off, Greene culls years of research and original interviews to blend historical anecdote and psychological insight, distilling the universal ingredients of the world's masters.

    Gare&Sophia says: "Mastery is both a goal and a destination..."
    "Practice Makes Pretty Darn Good!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a self-help book, told through use of many famous and inspiring people's lives. Robert Greene shares some ideas for improving our disposition throughout the book, at times even suggesting we be deceptive to co-workers under particular circumstances. I found that tidbit of advice entertaining, if not mildly surprising. The biographical aspects were by far the most exciting for me. Greene was able to bring new life to the iconic persons in his book through bits of their lives, either unbeknownst to me, or shared from a fresh perspective.

    As far as his advice, well I take it as mostly optimistic opinion. He bases his overlying theme of 'long intensive work equals positive results' on real and sound data, however some of the advice seems to be extemporaneous concepts contrived while he was conveying the dilemmas in his subjects lives. Don't get me wrong; good advice is good, whether fabricated off-the-cuff, or through years of mental labor. It just feels awkwardly and forcefully placed, when he puts his ideas in action, as a parallel to these great men and woman's responses to their struggles.

    The narrator was absolutely fine. My idea of a perfect narrator, is one that I don't even regard; I am to engrossed in what I am hearing and interpreting to fathom. I would guess my concentration on the material was broken three times throughout the entire sixteen hours due to mispronunciations. That is by my standards awesome!

    Now that I have the negative criticism out of the way, I would like to say that this is a great book. I found it reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell's 2008 book, Outliers where he too, writes extensively on the ten thousand hour rule. I learned plenty for the money I spent on it, and who knows I might even decided to master something. Enjoy, this is a great bargain!

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The History of the United States, 2nd Edition

    • ORIGINAL (43 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Allen C. Guelzo, Professor Gary W. Gallagher, Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (127)

    This comprehensive series of 84 lectures features three award-winning historians sharing their insights into this nation's past-from the European settlement and the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, 19th-century industrialization, two world wars, and the present day. These lectures give you the opportunity to grasp the different aspects of our past that combine to make us distinctly American, and to gain the knowledge so essential to recognizing not only what makes this country such a noteworthy part of world history, but the varying degrees to which it has lived up to its ideals.

    david says: "History Can Be Fun!"
    "History Can Be Fun!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was blown away by this lecture series! I think there were over 80 lectures, and this was only 1 credit! Beside the value, these Professors are top notch. I never thought of history with much intrigue, and I think that was because it was never told with such enthusiasm during my education. The way these lecturers strung together the entire history of the U.S. in such brilliant narratives made me just impatient to get onto the next lecture. I went through all 43 hours in about three weeks. This was not the best way to approach this amazing production if you intend to retain the knowledge imparted here in any scholarly fashion. I will be starting this again by listening to one lecture a day squeezed between some of the other amazing audible material I am always listening to throughout my work day. I think that approach will make it easier to retain the material in a more accessibly fashion.

    The narration was superb, especially Professor Allen C. Guelzo; the second and third speakers are certainly nothing to squabble over, but the first was, in my opinion the cream of the crop! He conducted every lecture like a musical composition, and ended every one with a perfect segue into the next lecture. I really haven't been this satisfied with a purchase on Audible.com in a very long time! Absolutely enthralling.

    If anyone here is looking to expand their knowledge, refresh what they may have already studied, or take a trip down scholastic avenue, this is not going to disappoint. Another great thing about this is if you are interested in only a particular part of U.S. history you can easily skip forward or backward to whatever portion of the history you are interested in. I suggest taking advantage of bookmarks in lecture series such as this one. Don't miss out on this most spectacular production!!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Selfish Gene

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (1569)
    Performance
    (1168)
    Story
    (1149)

    Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

    J. D. May says: "Better than print!"
    "A Fine Vintage"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was an amazing read. In this 30 year revision he has added many footnotes and a marvelous introduction! If you have read earlier versions of this book you will be impressed at the additions; well worth it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Nelson
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    From the New York Times best-selling author of Rocket Men and the award-winning biographer of Thomas Paine comes the first complete history of the Atomic Age, a brilliant, magisterial account of the men and women who uncovered the secrets of the nucleus, brought its power to America, and ignited the 20th century.

    david says: "Strong finish"
    "Strong finish"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This ended for me better than it began, as the history it covered I was less aware of in newer years pertaining to nuclear history. Many good statistics and emotionally taxing moments in the latter parts of this book that for me are a plus, as I am a whore for drama. It would have been nicer if the drama was fictional, but you learn much about the real effects of radioactive catastrophe, as the earth is no stranger of...just blinded by nations attempts to keep it under the table. If particle physics are strange or old hat to you, the end of this book should still be somewhat informative, and educational. Take that, and my three star rating for what it is.

    2 of 2 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
    (506)
    Performance
    (456)
    Story
    (459)

    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!

    27 of 27 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
    (40)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (35)

    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
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    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
    (29)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    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.

    5 of 5 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
    (843)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (316)

    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.

    Carolyn says: "Not My Favorite Picoult"
    "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
    (157)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (135)

    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
    (2039)
    Performance
    (1185)
    Story
    (1179)

    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

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