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Matthew

LeClaire, IA, United States | Member Since 2013

2
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 172 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015
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  • The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies - How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Michael Shermer
    • Narrated By Michael Shermer
    Overall
    (827)
    Performance
    (604)
    Story
    (600)

    In this, his magnum opus, the world’s best known skeptic and critical thinker Dr. Michael Shermer—founding publisher of Skeptic magazine and perennial monthly columnist (“Skeptic”) for Scientific American—presents his comprehensive theory on how beliefs are born, formed, nourished, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished.

    Leigh says: "Great material. Not-so-great narration."
    "Dr. Shermer is a skeptic's hero!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Believing Brain again? Why?

    Yes, I probably will. There's a lot of information to grasp, and listening to a second time will help me recall the information in discussions on these topics.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Non-fiction, no characters.


    What does Michael Shermer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A lot of science history is presented (maye a little too much, to be honest).


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I enjoyed the part on religion, which is my big personal point of interest.


    Any additional comments?

    Dr. Shermer does an excellent job of cutting through the noise and laying out the argument for skepticism. I really enjoyed this book, but here are my few thoughts as to what prevented it from getting five stars:

    1. I tend to be more liberal than Dr. Shermer, so his section on politics ruffled my feathers a bit. He didn't work overly hard to present an unbiased view, instead laying out a basic arguement for civil liberarianism. It was still a good section, but I found myself wanting to argue with some of the things that were written there.

    2. Dr. Shermer does the *funniest* voices sometimes when he is quoting people, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't realize it. Even when quoting someone he really respects, he does this funny mock impersonation that sounds like he is making fun of them. I actually really enjoyed that, so it didn't ding my rating at all.

    3. The book ran a little unneccessarily long at points, especially at the end. I feel like Dr. Shermer could've said everything he wanted to say in half the words, but then some editor came and prodded him into making it longer to maximize profits. I think this book could've almost succeeded better in the micro book format used by Sam Harris.

    Overall, still well worth the read! I intend to get more books by Dr. Shermer soon.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Academ's Fury: Codex Alera, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3533)
    Performance
    (2450)
    Story
    (2456)

    For 1,000 years, the people of Alera have united against the aggressive and threatening races that inhabit the world, using their unique bond with the Furies - elementals of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Metal. But now, the unity of the Alerians hangs in precarious balance.

    Eric says: "Wonderful series"
    "Great book, could have used a different narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoy all of Jim Butcher's work, and while the Alera series isn't quite the Dresden Files, they are still excellent reads. The only hitch in this series is that Kate Reading, while an excellent narrator, seems to struggle a bit to read this series. Unfortunately for her, most of the character's voices are deep booming bass voices or menacing evil monster voices, and try as she might, her impersonations always come off a little feminine and British sounding. It's not too distracting, but it's a little jarring in the beginning. Still highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (1219)
    Performance
    (1001)
    Story
    (993)

    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Teddy says: "Excellent Book All Over"
    "Outstanding! Mandatory reading for all humans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bucking all of the 'common sense' misunderstandings of our time, Pinker mounts a flawless defense of modernity and enlightenment in a non-partisan, simple to understand, and very thorough manner. This book should be mandatory reading for all human beings; that way, we could skip past the time wasting pontifications on the good ol' days and get right to the substance. It's a LONG read, but a good one. The narrator does an excellent job of reading such a long and substantive book; I had zero complaints.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12332)
    Performance
    (11202)
    Story
    (11230)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "An excellent sci-fi mystery!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to 14 again? Why?

    I don't know if I'd listen to it again, because the best part of the book is the mysteries. Once you know them, the book probably wouldn't be as fun to listen to again.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think I liked Veek the best, followed closely by Tim.


    Have you listened to any of Ray Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't heard him before, but he did an excellent job with the various character accents and personalities. The 'villian' from the end's voice is a bit cheesy, but whaddyagonnado?


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

    I got a little jerky at the end waiting for the big conclusion.


    Any additional comments?

    A great read! As some have commented, most of the book has a very 'Lost' feel. The ending gets a little bit goofy in my opinion, but overall still satisfying and worth reading. Thanks!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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