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John Mettler

I have a primary love of music and pretty much an insatiable curiosity of history, art, science, current affairs, and all things bicycling.

Seattle, WA USA | Member Since 2012

23
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 23 ratings
  • 496 titles in library
  • 94 purchased in 2014
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  • Tibetan Buddhism and Modern Physics: Toward a Union of Love and Knowledge

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Vic Mansfield, His Holiness the Dalai Lama (foreword)
    • Narrated By Ralph Morocco
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (21)

    In a clear and engaging way, this book shows how the principle of emptiness, the philosophic heart of Tibetan Buddhism, connects intimately to quantum nonlocality and other foundational features of quantum mechanics. Detailed connections between emptiness, modern relativity, and the nature of time are also explored. For Tibetan Buddhists, the profound interconnectedness implied by emptiness demands the practice of universal compassion.

    John Mettler says: "Tibetan Buddhism and Science"
    "Tibetan Buddhism and Science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    More than a basic knowledge of both subjects is needed to not get lost while listening to this book. I am a practicing Buddhist and I found myself going back over many of the sections to grasp the corollaries that Mr Mansfield was getting at. This book takes several and concentrated listenings but well worth the effort.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929–1945

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By David M. Kennedy
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    Overall
    (195)
    Performance
    (122)
    Story
    (119)

    Between 1929 and 1945, two great travails were visited upon the American people: the Great Depression and World War II. This Pulitzer Prize–winning history tells the story of how Americans endured, and eventually prevailed, in the face of those unprecedented calamities. The Depression was both a disaster and an opportunity. As David Kennedy vividly demonstrates, the economic crisis of the 1930s was far more than a simple reaction to the alleged excesses of the 1920s.

    Ray says: "Good summary of a pivotal time."
    "Freedom from Fear"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A very through and comprehensive rendering of this turbulent period in the history of America. There was so much going on during this 15 year period that it is easy to loose the forest while looking at the individual trees. Mr Kennedy keeps the narrative moving without falling into the trap of to much detail. Two items that I take issue with are the treatment of Japanese Americans post Pearl Harbor and the length of time spent on WWII. Mr Kennedy doesn't even mention the interment of Japanese American citizens in internment camps nor the role that the army battalions of these volunteers played in WWII (442 the most decorated battalion in the army and the role that japanese speaking intelligence officers played). The role of Native Americans played in the pacific theater (wind talkers). Other than that this is a great over view of this period.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ian Mortimer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (459)
    Performance
    (335)
    Story
    (334)

    Imagine you could travel back to the 14th century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? And what are you going to eat? Ian Mortimer shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. He sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you to the Middle Ages. The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: evolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail.

    Marc-Andr? says: "Detailed, Interesting and Entertaining"
    "The Time Traveller"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A unique approach to telling the every day lives of the peoples that lived during this period in world history. Most books that give over views of a large historical period usually get lost in the names and dates of this and that, by using a travel log approach Mr Mortimer puts you into the period.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY and the Lost Story of 1970

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By David Browne
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (153)

    January 1970: the Beatles assemble one more time to put the finishing touches on Let It Be; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young are wrapping up Déjà Vu; Simon and Garfunkel are unveiling Bridge Over Troubled Water; James Taylor is an upstart singer-songwriter who's just completed Sweet Baby James. Over the course of the next twelve months, their lives---and the world around them---will change irrevocably.

    Kathy says: "Fascinating information, easy to listen"
    "Fire and Rain"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Focusing on four of popular music most influential groups to tell the story of 1970 draws the music junkie into a history lesson of one of the most turbulent times in recent American history. Mr Browne is able to focus on the groups while giving an over all background history of the end of the sixties and the beginning what some refer to as the desert of the seventies. In an effort to maintain focus on the chosen subject he gives cursory or no attention to the other forms which also developed during this time (prog rock-Jethro Tull Yes Pink Floyd King Crimson et al, the horn bands-Chicago Blood Sweat and Tears, the rise of funk-Earth Wind and Fire Tower of Power) which leaves the listener with the feeling that we were only bound for the land of Disco. Overall, the nit picking aside, this is a very informative and enjoyable book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Tao of Physics

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Fritjof Capra
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohoi
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (33)

    Based on the best seller, The Tao of Physics is an exploration of the parallels between modern physics and Eastern mysticism. It's author - the renowned physicist, theorist, writer, and lecturer - says, "Science does not need mysticism and mysticism does not need science; but man needs them both."

    reggie p says: "very intriguing"
    "The Tao of Physics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Tao of Physics? What did you like least?

    A clear and concise introduction to quantum physics.


    Any additional comments?

    Unfortunately this recording is a transcription of the cassette tapes which came out with all the noise associated with it. It would have been better to have rerecorded this abridged version of the book or to have digitally washed it to improve the sound quality. Now to the abridgment. I read the book when it first came out and found it very informative, clearly written, and easy to understand. The abridgment cuts way to much out of the original narrative in an apparent effort to reach the widest audience possible. An unabridged version would be appreciated.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Cycling: Philosophy For Everyone

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jess Ilundin-Agurruza
    • Narrated By JD Cullum
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (34)

    Covering interesting and varied philosophical terrain, Cycling - Philosophy for Everyone explores in a fun but critical way the rich philosophical, cultural, and existential experiences that arise when two wheels are propelled by human energy.

    Matthew says: "Inhanced my love of cycling"
    "Cycling: Philosophy for Everyone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Cycling in three words, what would they be?

    Not only for gear heads.


    Any additional comments?

    This book goes a long way in explaining why we ride bikes and can be so addicted to the activity.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By G. J. Meyer
    • Narrated By Robin Sachs
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (583)
    Performance
    (522)
    Story
    (517)

    The First World War is one of history’s greatest tragedies. In this remarkable and intimate account, author G. J. Meyer draws on exhaustive research to bring to life the story of how the Great War reduced Europe’s mightiest empires to rubble, killed 20 million people, and cracked the foundations of the world we live in today. World War I is unique in the number of questions about it that remain unsettled. After more than 90 years, scholars remain divided on these questions, and it seems likely that they always will.

    Andrew Pilecki says: "Excellent Overview of the "Overshadowed" War"
    "A World Undone"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A World Undone?

    The comprehensive narrative of one of the most devastating events of the twentieth century.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There are too many individuals involved with the events of the first world war to single out singular charecters as a favorite. What the author has done is to show the forces that drove all of the major individuals and the all to human side of them.


    What about Robin Sachs’s performance did you like?

    Evenness of delivery and exact pronunciation of difficult names and places.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was stunned by the scope of the tragedy.


    Any additional comments?

    Most of the books dealing with the first world war choose a single subject (e.g. "Dreadnaught" which covers the naval move from sail to coal powered vessels and the advent of the super war ship) or battles. The books that try to deal with the whole leave me with a good nap. Undone is the first book to tackle the whole which doesn't send me to the sofa for a nap. Every time the narrative begins to bog down in the minutia there is a side bar back ground inserted which details some aspect that has the effect of livening up the narrative so that when you return to the main body your mind is ready to take on the battle again.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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