Outstanding European History
Otto von Bismarck
He explains things very clearly, and makes the complex seem simple to understand.
This is one of the Great Courses by the Teaching Company. They're long, and involved. But if you really want to understand the subject, there are no better ways to learn.
Very flat. Granted, the material wasn't much to work with.
Couldn't find any.
Let's just say I'll lose no time reading the rest of the series.
Basic clockwork universe book, set in an alternate Victorian England. Appealing protagonists. First of a series. Simon Taylor does an excellent job. Plot has a couple of elements which are hard to swallow, but overall, a very enjoyable "read." If Audible doesn't commission the next two books in the series, I'll be forced to buy them!
Perhaps its the high-pitched voice. Or perhaps it's the nearly incomprehensible English accent. Or perhaps its just the lisp. Is it a lisp, or can she simply not speak clearly? Or the hurried diction. In any case, Ms Kellgren makes listening to a reasonably enjoyable story into something like work. Even with the speed on my Nano turned down to "slow," it's hard to follow this story. Ms. Bowen deserves much better. Back to the print version for Her Royal Spyness series!
Another of Hiaasen's whackos-running-around-Florida books. Usual cast of characters - evil developers, pristine wilderness, etc, etc. He found the right balance on this one. Apocalyptic ending. Devastatingly funny.
Yet another tale of evil developers, greedy people, pristine wilderness, Florida panthers, good kids, mostly-noble hero, and supportive babe in Carl Hiaasen's series of books in the whackos-running-around-south-Florida genre. Even for Hiassen, this one's too heavy-handed. But very funny.
Memorable book. Shows signs of having been "upwritten" from a shorter work. Nasty aliens, heroic Earthlings, and a well-telegraphed surprise ending which is anticipated in the book's title. Not Weber's best, but even his second best is pretty good.
Six Sigma is the latest management theory to hit the big time. Starting at Motorola, it has moved throughout the manufacturing world, making converts and strongly influencing business practices. It is now moving into the service world, most notably in health care. And Heaven knows we need improvement in health care. It's an important theory, but more than that, it's a coherent set of practices for process improvement. Unfortunately, you won't learn much from this book, which is written in the classic "let's all get on the bandwagon" style often found in bad management books. It's more appropriate to advertising copy than to a serious examination of the theory and practice of Six Sigma. In short, the book doesn't come close to doing justice to Six Sigma. And in the audio format, it's impossible to skip over the extensive amount of fluff to get to the good stuff. If you have to get it, buy the book. At least, you can skim the book. Don't waste your money on the audiotape, unless you need something to get to sleep at night.
Grisham must have been paid by the word for this interminable book. It's main characters are drawn from the Handbook of Literary Cliches, and its plot - what there is of it - would be stretched to fill a short story. Its protagonist, suposedly a professor at a very prestigious law school, is seriously stupid. As an example, here's a man who was raised in a small Mississippi town, supposedly knowing about firearms. Yet he picks up and uses a pistol, without checking on whether or not its loaded (it's not). After making his big discovery, he does nothing but dither about. We're supposed to be sympathetic because his wife left him for a rich man. After the first hour or two, my sympathies were entirely with the wife. Listening to this dullard deal with his father's illegal legacy, his substance-abusing brother, and his own insecurities is more tedious than enjoyable. Not worth buying.
Mr. Schlosser has carried out three years of research for this book, by his own account. Unfortunately, his well-documented polemic against the fast food industry is seriously flawed by a lack of focus. It's an impressive attack on the fast food industry, but he also attacks urban sprawl, George Bush (senior, not junior), the US Dept of Agriculture, agribusiness, the decline of family farms, and, of course, the Republican party. He lovingly traces the links between the Republicans and agribusiness, while completely ignoring the similar links between, for example, Tyson Foods and the Clinton Administration. His partisanship strongly detracts from his message. Truly, the American Nutritional Catastrophe deserves a great book to describe it. This one isn't it, but one has to give Mr. Schlosser credit for a good effort.
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