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R. Hilton

Texas | Member Since 2015

127
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 118 ratings
  • 264 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2018
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The God Delusion

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Richard Dawkins
    • Narrated By Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
    Overall
    (9471)
    Performance
    (6392)
    Story
    (6309)

    Discover magazine recently called Richard Dawkins "Darwin's Rottweiler" for his fierce and effective defense of evolution. Prospect magazine voted him among the top three public intellectuals in the world (along with Umberto Eco and Noam Chomsky). Now Dawkins turns his considerable intellect on religion, denouncing its faulty logic and the suffering it causes.

    Blake says: "Charming, smart, and unpretentious"
    "A good read but it won't sway your mind."
    Overall

    I've read a couple of Richard Dawkin's works: The Blind Watchmaker and The God Delusion.

    First of all, let me praise Mr. Dawkins, and Lalla Ward for a captivating reading of his work. They make a good oratory team, very pleasant listening. I was hoping for a bit more "meat" to chew on in God Delusion but to me, Richard simply sets up straw men then slays them magnificently. Like a skilled surgeon, he seeks out the most tumorous examples of mankind's failures in the name of religion then portrays them as an evil perpetrated by faith in God. I share his disgust for religion as we know it, having been corrupted by corrupt men, but that comparrison is just as useless as blaming a firearm for murdering someone. From a more positive perspective, Christians, especially church leaders and clergy, should read TGD, not so much for what it reveals about atheism but for what it reveals about how religion is perceived by non-believers. It is to their shame the message of The Cross is lost in the cacophony of religious infighting and corruption.

    A reasonable counterbalance to TGD is Ravi Zacharias' Can Man Live Without God?, a collection of speeches given by Mr. Zacharias. Ravi sets up his own straw men for battle and does an eloquent job of doing so. Of course, he's coming from the perspective of one who believes in an almighty Creator so he manages to raise questions that Mr. Dawkins didn't seem to think of. Where Dawkins attempts to appeal to logic, Ravi focuses more on the philosophical aspects of the state of mankind. My personal, and totally biased opinion, is that Zacharias gets a head start in the debate simply because he addresses the heart of man, rather than the mere mind of man.

    To those who are convinced in their positions, whether it be for or against God, neither of these orators will sway you from your stance. If you're genuinely on the fence, read both books.

    53 of 75 people found this review helpful
  • The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Amanda Ripley
    • Narrated By Kirsten Potter
    Overall
    (572)
    Performance
    (445)
    Story
    (446)

    Today, nine out of 10 Americans live in places at significant risk of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, terrorism, or other disasters. Tomorrow, some of us will have to make split-second choices to save ourselves and our families. How will we react? What will it feel like? Will we be heroes or victims? Will our upbringing, our gender, our personality - anything we've ever learned, thought, or dreamed of - ultimately matter?

    Andy says: "these days, you can never know enough......"
    "Your life could actually depend on what you read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Your life could actually depend on what you read in this book.

    When I stumble across a book that impacts my thinking I will sometimes write up a review for it. I generally read (listen) to at least a book per week, resulting in not a huge number of reviews. So, when I share this one with you, it's because I think it includes some profound insights which could make a difference in your life.

    If you're reading it on paper, have a highlighter handy. If you're listening on Audible, use the book mark feature, especially on your 3rd or 4th time through the book. (I listen to the good ones at least 3 times, typically playing a x2 speed or faster).

    "The Unthinkable" by Amanda Ripley, is a thoughtful look at what goes inside our heads during a disaster. It's not a "how to" book. Rather, it is a book on how your greatest asset; your brain, works in a disaster situation. She delves into the the sciences: Physiology, psychology and physics using case studies of actual disasters.

    Why this is important to you: Chance plays a role in your survival and there's not much you can do about that. Ripley explains how you can improve your odds by taking ownership of your outcome. She includes little things like the shoes you wear on an airplane but the real payoff is her treatment of the big things like how long it takes you to make a decision.

    I can't make you read it. And I hope you never need the skills it teaches. But if you ever need it, you will be glad you read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Year After

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7747)
    Performance
    (7157)
    Story
    (7152)

    One Year After returns to the small town of Black Mountain and the man who struggled to rebuild it in the wake of devastation: John Matherson. It is a thrilling follow-up and should delight fans in every way.

    E J Lee says: "Horrible Southern accent ..."
    "Riveting performance of post apocalyptic formula."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Forstchen popularized the EMP as the impetus of societal collapse. OYA thrills as he continues the theme he launched with One Second After. I love this genre because it explores the depravity to which mankind can descend as well as the power of society to restore order.

    I find myself immersed in the action as Bronson Pinchot tells the story in living color. I will search for other titles he has read just to experience more of his vivid story telling.

    OYA left me a little hungry. The bureaucratic villain is a bit overused in this genre. I want to hear more about the novel ways survivors rebuild; more about the work it takes to rebuild with less reliance on serendipity for survival. This isn't to say I'm disappointed, just greedy for more.

    I will play this one again and again because it's a great, fast paced story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Redeeming Love

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Francine Rivers
    • Narrated By Kate Forbes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4050)
    Performance
    (3405)
    Story
    (3429)

    Francine Rivers is one of America's favorite romance writers and a bestselling inspirational author. Her many heartfelt novels have won awards and the adoration of fans accross the country. In Redeeming Love, she retells the Biblical story of Hosea, setting it in the 1850s, amidst California's gold country.

    Heather says: "this is the best book I have ever read......"
    "Newest addition to my list of Life Changing Books!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Last weekend, at a long overdue reunion of our youth group (circa 1970’s) an impromptu conversation about great and meaningful books flared up. Several of us had read recent, life changing stories such as “The Shack” and “Same Kind Of Different As Me.” That’s how I learned of “Redeeming Love” by Francine Rivers. This morning, I finished reading this revelation. How I never knew of this powerful story is beyond me. I suppose I must live under a rock!

    Regardless of your views on Christianity, you’re at the very least going to find a truly inspirational romantic nail biter with a wonderful ending. I can’t do justice to the depth and breadth of this story except to share alternate titles for this love story. If you see one you like, read this book!

    Redeeming Forgiveness
    Redemption From Shame
    Redemption From Guilt
    Redeeming Faith
    Redeeming Patience
    Redeeming Respect
    Redeeming Perseverance
    Redeeming Humility

    I’m leaving out even more, this is such a rich novel!
    “Redeeming Love” is at least a PG13, bordering on R rating so share it responsibly. I think the longer you’ve been on the planet, the more truths you will find in this compelling work. Personally, it has already joined my list of “life changing books I’ve read.” It’s an easy read at 1.75 speed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6912)
    Performance
    (6146)
    Story
    (6124)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Amanda says: "WOW, WOW, WOW."
    "Gratuitous eroticism clouds the story "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    1Q84 is based on a promising premise of intersecting parallel universes. The characters are intriguing, the situations are interesting and suspenseful.

    Unfortunately, the author fills much of the dialogue with gratuitous eroticism, child sex, incest, and shallow relationships. If that's OK for you, enjoy. I just think the author invests too much in the pornography rather than delving more deeply into the stated premise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Detroit: An American Autopsy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Charlie LeDuff
    • Narrated By Eric Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (884)
    Performance
    (793)
    Story
    (789)

    In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age - mass production, automobiles, and blue-collar jobs - Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts. With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city.

    Avid Reader and Listener says: "WOW"
    "This is an autopsy you need to read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Detroit again? Why?

    "Detroit" joins my list of re-reads for a couple of reasons: One, I want to follow up on some of the many back stories. For example -- the Johnnie Redding frozen in ice story is a real thing. Look it up. A little research will make this story even more poignant.

    Secondly, it's just a great story, even it were a novel instead of a documentary it would be a great read.

    Listening tip: Eric Martin is easy to listen to at 1.6 speed or even quicker. It makes the story move along even better. You won't want to put it down.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author is certainly my favorite. He's an interesting person in his own right so getting his perspective on an interesting history is doubly good. Not only does he narrate the tale, he's a fundamental part of the story, making it a first person perspective in many chapters.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Without giving up too much of the story, the author and his mother visit the bar where the author's sister took her last drink. It was obvious they didn't belong there but when the bar patrons found out they were related, everything changed. Walls were broken down.


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

    Although there are few emotional "hooks" in the story ( at least for me, a passionate pragmatic) the subject, as a whole, is laden with gravitas. To see into the inner workings of a dying city is heart rending.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know whether or not it was intentional but the author delves into the realm of race. He makes it obvious that corruption is color blind. Read this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6450)
    Performance
    (4563)
    Story
    (4615)

    Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything: a fine reputation, an appointment as captain of a ship, and the heart of a beautiful woman. But his perfect life is shattered when three jealous friends conspire to destroy him. Falsely accused of a political crime, Dantès is locked away for life in the infamous Chateau d'If prison. But it is there that Dantès learns of a vast hidden treasure.

    Ramon says: "A true Time-machine"
    "Eloquent oration, captivating storyline."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    TCOMC reads like the best suspense series on cable, well, actually, the best suspense series assuredly follow TCOMC's model. Batman, Iron Man, and maybe Obie Wan Kenobe have roots in The Count. I'm still processing the punch line but the story makes sense. This is one of those long novels which you wish were longer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dangerous Calling

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Paul David Tripp
    • Narrated By Maurice England
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (212)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (172)

    After traveling the world for many years and speaking at hundreds of churches of all kinds, Paul David Tripp is concerned about the state of pastoral culture. He is not only concerned about the spiritual life of the pastor, but with the very people who train him, call him, relate to him, and restore him if necessary. Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy - an environment that actively undermines the wellbeing and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body.

    R. Gomez says: "Heart Surgery"
    "Rekindled my fire."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ministry is hard. We make it harder when we turn it into a job. Rekindle your passion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2350)
    Performance
    (1652)
    Story
    (1667)

    The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region.

    Sara says: "A Fascinating History"
    "Required reading if you think life is hard."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of my frequent re-reads. TWHT is an amazing history of the dustbowl and the people who sacrificed literally everything to have their place.

    World events, climate, government meddling combined to create an actual perfect storm that reached from New Mexico to the international waters of the Atlantic. You will be awed at the endurance of those who faced fate and survived.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cry Havoc

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By A. American
    • Narrated By Duke Fontaine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1104)
    Performance
    (1051)
    Story
    (1042)

    The news is full of disturbing events today. There's war and rumors of war. There's the false recovery of the economy. Faith in the US economy is extremely low. Foreign banks have either slowed their purchases of Treasury Bonds or, in a few cases, begun unloading them. We have a current election that is rife with corruption, extreme partisanship, and outright fraud. It would appear the left in the country is ready to do about anything to see their candidate elected.

    Lisa Wilson says: "Great new saga!"
    "A. American writes like he's been there, done that"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I started with Kindle editions of A. American's '"Home" series but the Audible versions make his stories even more exciting. His prescience runs deep and his stories not only present what could happen, they live the lives of ordinary people trying to cope with government run amuck. I listened to "Cry Havock " in one session. Don't be surprised if you do the same.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Pink
    • Narrated By Daniel H. Pink
    Overall
    (4161)
    Performance
    (2765)
    Story
    (2757)

    From Daniel H. Pink, the author of the groundbreaking best seller A Whole New Mind, comes his next big idea book: a paradigm-changing examination of what truly motivates us and how to harness that knowledge to find greater satisfaction in our lives and our work.

    Michael says: "Not as good as A Whole New Mind"
    "intrinsic motivation vs carrot and stick."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Daniel Pink uses science and results to unlock internal motivation, making work meaningful instead of just being a job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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