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ESCONDIDO, CA, United States | Member Since 2015

  • 4 reviews
  • 11 ratings
  • 220 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2015

  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Neil Hunt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Eight hundred women and children begin a 1,200-mile journey on foot across Japanese-occupied Malaya. At journey’s end, only 30 will still be alive. This is the story of one woman, of her ordeal, and of how she was saved by the sacrifice of an Australian soldier. It is a story of rare individual courage in the face of certain death, and hope in the face of despair.

    Jean says: "Historical Novel"
    "Nevil Shute:vastly under-rated author"

    Nevil Shute wrote this book based on a real situation that occurred during WW2 when the Japanese treated their prisoners of war, especially the women, despicably. They forced the women to walk from location to location with no support or supplies, counting on their dying of the ordeal, eliminating the "problem" for the Japanese.
    Nevil Shute winds a complicated and emotional story around this event. What I especially enjoy in Shute's books is the vast pot of knowledge he obviously draws on to include interesting and little-known facts into his narrative. In this book, for example, he talks about a Japanese custom of allowing a dying prisoner to make one dying wish. If the wish cannot be fulfilled, as is the case in the book, the prisoner must be rescued and restored to health, if possible. (I hope this custom is true, but perhaps Shute made it up. If anybody knows for sure, one way or another, I'd love to hear.)
    I plan to slowly make my way through all of Shute's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Year of No Sugar: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Eve O. Schaub
    • Narrated By Hillary Huber, John Lee

    With her eyes open by the work of obesity expert Dr. Robert Lustig and others, Eve challenged her husband and two school-age daughters to join her on a quest to eat no added sugar for an entire year. Along the way, Eve uncovered the real costs of our sugar-heavy American diet including diabetes, obesity, and increased incidences of health problems such as heart disease and cancer.

    Virginia says: "Too obsessed with sugar, too free with exceptions"
    "Too obsessed with sugar, too free with exceptions"

    This author made a commitment with her family to go without sugar for the year based on a you-tube video by some doctor I've never heard of. That's fine, but she does it in such a zig-zaggy fashion that it's worthless to try to learn from her experience. For example, she'd rather mess up a whole evening out with her husband than eat the miniscule amount of sugar contained in the bun of a fast food restaurant's roll. She's willing to spend hours shopping and to lay out two and three times the money to get absolutely "pure" sugarless products, but she'll make cookies from dates and bananas and eat them freely. (Dates are sugarless, but apple juice, no sugar added, is not?) Much of her year is spent finding multitudinous ways to get the sweetness experience without using actual sugar.

    She apparently thinks it's unreasonable to cut out sugar completely (who asked her to?), so she makes exception after exception. They can have a dessert once a month. They can each have one exception to their rule: the kids can have as much jam as they want, her husband can get his sugar fix with diet Coke, and she can have her wine. (Again, wine counts as a sugared food?) The kids can eat sugar when they're out, not under her supervision.

    I myself have tried to give up sugar and rather than fixate on finding substitutes, which perpetuates the desire, or worrying about the trace amounts found in ordinary foods, such as bread, I've tried to tamp down the craving by limiting sugar and all overly sweet foods as much as I conveniently can. (She does have a point about hidden sugar in processed foods, which she is correct to excoriate.) I think the author's heart is in the right place, but her plan didn't work for her---they all went back to their sugared ways after the year was over---and I'm not even going to try to see if it works for me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How to Stay Motivated: Developing the Qualities of Success

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Zig Ziglar

    How to Stay Motivated provides you with clear and proven techniques to use to enhance relationships, improve your self-image, set and achieve goals, and so much more! Apply these winning steps from the motivational master himself to build a better, more productive, satisfying life for yourself and your family. Change your picture and change every facet of your life.

    Keran says: "Inspiring"
    "Zig Ziglar is awfully full of himself"

    This book is really a series of lectures. It's common sense on steroids. At one point Zig Ziglar recommends that you listen to his lecture series 16 (!) times so that you really incorporate his "pearls of wisdom" into your psyche. He's full of praise for himself, and I found him obnoxious.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, The Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Edward Dolnick
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The Clockwork Universe is the story of a band of men who lived in a world of dirt and disease but pictured a universe that ran like a perfect machine. A meld of history and science, this book is a group portrait of some of the greatest minds who ever lived as they wrestled with natures most sweeping mysteries. The answers they uncovered still hold the key to how we understand the world.

    Alison says: "The Royal Society comes alive."
    "Reveals a world I never realized existed"

    In the 1600s curiosity was looked upon as a sin, trying to unveil the mind of God. Progress was viewed likewise, trying to improve upon the world God had provided. As miserable as their lives were and as horrible as the fate that followed death, people of those days believe "this is the best of all possible worlds." This mindset prevailed for 1,000 years. Fortunately for us, around 1660 there arose a small band of "natural philosophers" who enjoyed experimenting and thinking about the natural world. Isaac Newton, was the genius among them, although his ideas almost didn't get written down, he was so neurotic and anti-social and self-angrandizing. This book's beautifully written and read, very easy to follow. There are a few other books that have changed or enlarged my worldview this much. "How the mind works," by Stephen Pinker, "A short history of nearly everything," by Bill Bryson, and "Longitude," by Dava Sobel come to mind. This book is right up there with them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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