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Reston, VA, United States

  • 2 reviews
  • 5 ratings
  • 305 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2015

  • An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In his first memoir, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. This is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist and how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the 20th century.

    C. Beaton says: "Only for Dawkins' Fans"
    "A decent first half of a brilliant scientist"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would definitely recommend it to a friend, particularly if that friend is a fan of the work of Richard Dawkins.

    Would you recommend An Appetite for Wonder to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes, it is a good first half of a memoir of how Richard Dawkins became a scientist. As some other reviewers have already stated, I would have enjoyed more personal stories, especially after he arrived at Oxford, but nonetheless, it was entertaining. I'm excited for part two, which will cover the rest of his work, his involvement in the atheist movement and his new marriage to Lalla Ward.

    What does Richard Dawkins and Lalla Ward bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I am a big fan of audio books in general, but personal memoirs, especially when narrated by the authors, are incredible. It's as if you're sitting in the room with them while they regale you with their life story. Richard Dawkins does a fantastic job and Lalla Ward does a great job narrating the diary entries of his mother.

    If this book were a movie would you go see it?


    Any additional comments?

    “An Appetite for Wonder”, it is certainly enjoyable. You get a view into the life of a scientist that has not been revealed until now. I greatly enjoyed the parts of the book describing his early childhood in Africa. It sounded like a unique and fascinating place to spend your early years. I was entertained by the songs he remembered. Being the audiobook, he sang the songs, which added to the fulfillment of the story.

    As the secondary title states, this book is very much about how he became a scientist. Through his early years, he described personal stories, but they seemed to vanish after he got to Oxford. He described in detail the names and relationships he held with faculty and colleagues, which was interesting, but there was little in the way of personal stories, which was a bit of a disappointment.

    One of the biggest surprises to me was how much Mr. Dawkins enjoyed (not sure if he still does) computer programming. When he was in school, computers were in their infancy, but that didn’t stop him from taking a fascination in them. He nostalgically described times when he taught himself to program and then applied the programming to his research in biology and ethology.

    Overall a good, quick read and must for any fans of Mr. Dawkins or his work, particularly “The Selfish Gene”, which he dedicates an entire chapter to. I am very interested in part two, the second half of his life, which includes the remainder (and bulk) of his work, his involvement in the atheist movement and a new marriage. I am anxiously awaiting the release of that book, which I hope to listen to again as if I’m sitting with Mr. Dawkins.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Infidel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • Narrated By Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This New York Times best-seller is the astonishing life story of award-winning humanitarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A deeply respected advocate for free speech and women's rights, Hirsi Ali also lives under armed protection because of her outspoken criticism of the Islamic faith in which she was raised.

    Paul Mullen says: "Tough, Candid Assessment"
    "Great content and narration, poor post-production"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Infidel to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I often enjoy when books, particularly memoirs, are narrated by the authors. Ayaan Hirsi Ali does a fantastic job and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali herself for being brave and courageous enough to write this book, even if that means lots of anger and hostility from many in the Muslim world.

    Have you listened to any of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not. I am looking forward to her second book, Nomad.

    Any additional comments?

    I loved the content and the narration. It seems that post-production was a bit sloppy however. There were hardly any pauses in between chapters which she's finish a sentence that would go straight into the next chapter. It was a bit jarring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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