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John

Skaneateles, NY, United States | Member Since 2012

42
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 57 reviews
  • 57 ratings
  • 97 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
14
FOLLOWERS
4

  • Every Day is an Atheist Holiday!: More Magical Tales from the Author of 'God, No!'

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Penn Jillette
    • Narrated By Penn Jillette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (473)
    Performance
    (442)
    Story
    (445)

    Let's be honest - nobody has more fun than atheists. Don’t believe it? Well, consider this: For nonbelievers, every day you’re alive is a day to celebrate! And no one celebrates life to the fullest like Penn Jillette - the larger, louder half of legendary magic duo Penn & Teller - whose spectacularly witty and sharply observant essays in Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday! will entertain zealots and skeptics alike.

    Marc Worley says: "Yes, he curses"
    "Some good stuff but a lot of rambling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I have mixed feelings about this book. Some of it was good while other parts not so much.

    I liked the sections of the book where Penn talks religion and atheism. Humor is a great means of communication and he uses it to effectively examine the many hypocrisies and fallacies of religious belief. He is not afraid to lay it all out there in his unique irreverent way. Those who are very religious will likely be offended by these passages but then they are unlikely to be reading this in the first place.

    I also enjoyed some of the insight into his performances but there should have been more of this with some secrets revealed. I know he can't give away his whole act but a few juicy tidbits of revealed magic would have been nice.

    Now the bad. To much rambling steam of consciousness stuff about uninteresting events. Why is it parents who have kids late in life feel the need to wax on and on about them? Nobody cares. It may be fascinating to you but it is boring to everybody else.

    Too much about what music Penn is into. Again, interesting to him but nobody else. We want to know more about what makes Penn unique, not his love of Bob Dylan and NRBQ.

    He is a little too into his own genitalia. Everybody has those parts. Again, not interesting.

    I could have easily fast forwarded half of this book and it would have been a lot better.

    I only paid $5 for it. Would not have been worth more.

    Sorry Penn. Still like you though.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (618)
    Performance
    (561)
    Story
    (572)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Benoibe says: "Best book of the year!"
    "Not great but pretty good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the little known story of the gold medal 8 man crew team which won the 1936 Olympics in Berlin (not a spoiler as this is revealed in the opening chapter of the book)

    The best aspect of this book is the amazing self made story of Joe Rance, Losing his mother at a young age and left all alone to fend for himself at age 15 he somehow stayed in school, survived on his own and put himself through the University of Washington without any outside help while working, rowing crew and excelling as an Engineering major. Remarkable!! What an amazing and inspirational person!

    There are only so many ways to describe a crew race. To those who ever rowed crew this is probably fascinating stuff but most people probably won't really appreciate it so much. There is a great deal of waxing poetic on the grace and beauty of the perfect crew stroke and rowing. A little over the top for me, and there is a lot of it.

    Overall pretty good. The narrator does a good job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By David Epstein
    • Narrated By David Epstein
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (223)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (201)

    Are stars like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Serena Williams genetic freaks put on Earth to dominate their respective sports? Or are they simply normal people who overcame their biological limits through sheer force of will and obsessive training? In this controversial and engaging exploration of athletic success, Sports Illustrated senior writer David Epstein tackles the great nature vs. nurture debate and traces how far science has come in solving this great riddle.

    Cynthia says: "Epstein writes! He scores!"
    "Mostly obvious information. Annoying narration."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Most of the information in this book is either old or obvious. Nothing very interesting here. Basketball players are tall, sprinters have a lot of fast twitch muscle, marathoners slow twitch ...etc..etc. Sport success is a combination of genes and experience. All rather obvious and not very interesting to anyone who knows a little bit about sport science.

    To many uninteresting longwinded descriptions of people and places. My mind would wander.

    I found the narrator (also the author) to be very annoying. His reading of quotes are especially nail grating with overly theatrical accents and expressions.

    I could barely finish this book. Considered returning it, but I got it on deal for $4.95 so I stuck it out to the end. I should have returned it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Joel Fuhrman
    • Narrated By Joel Fuhrman
    Overall
    (534)
    Performance
    (364)
    Story
    (366)

    When Mehmet Oz has a patient whose life depends on losing weight, he calls on Joel Fuhrman, M.D. In Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Dr. Fuhrman offers his healthy, effective, and scientifically proven plan for shedding radical amounts of weight quickly, and keeping it off.

    Joseph says: "The facts of what's healthy, and what's killing us"
    "Eat to live indeed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Learn why a whole food plant based diet is the optimal diet for health and how it can stop and even reverse nearly all the leading causes of sickness and death. Learn how to implement such a diet and what changes and benefits you can expect.

    This is one of those books EVERYONE should read.

    Outstanding. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By John Robbins
    • Narrated By John Robbins
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (41)

    Here, the man who started the "food revolution" with the million-plus-selling Diet for a New America, boldly posits that, collectively, our personal diet can save ourselves and the world. If, according to chaos theory, the beating of a butterfly's wing can cause a hurricane in another part of the world, try this out for chaotic cause and effect: monarch butterflies are dying in droves due to genetically-engineered corn growing in the Midwest. There is also a direct correlation between the Big Mac in your hand and the mile-wide river now running across the North Pole.

    Mike says: "The Revolution That Is A Wake Up Call"
    "Excellent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Another great book on the myriad benefits of a whole foods plant based diet. I really wish this message would get out there more. The world would be a far better place. People would be dramatically healthier. The environment would substantially improve. And many millions of sentient intelligent animals would not spend their entire short lives in tortured misery.

    Outstanding book. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Astronomy II: Stars, Galaxies, and the Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By James Kaler
    Overall
    (164)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (74)

    As far as we can see there are countless other galaxies of all shapes and sizes set within an ever-expanding space that was created in a "Big Bang" nearly 14 billion years ago. Along with solutions to old puzzles, however, come new riddles, as most of our Universe appears to be in the form of some kind of unseen "dark matter" and incomprehensible "dark energy" whose natures and origins remain unfathomable.

    R. David Mintz says: "Absolutely awesome!"
    "Awesome course!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The universe is strange and endlessly fascinating. There is so much we don't yet understand yet what we have learned so far is mindblowing. This course is a fast paced review of our current knowledge of the cosmos. If you like astronomy you will like this course. Prof Kaler does a great job here. Some of this stuff is pretty complex and just plain weird and he does a great job making it as understandable as possible. Not only does he explain what we think is out there he explains how we figured out what we know, which is very interesting in itself.

    Excellent course. I really enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Steven Novella
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (345)
    Story
    (335)

    No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever. These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life.

    K-Rock says: "Common sense guide to skepticism"
    "Outstanding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As never before , we have easy access to massive amounts of information from a myriad of sources.

    How can we determine fact from fiction, science from pseudo science, the effect of biases, and the relative validity of the information we are exposed to? How do we avoid scams, charlatans, con artists, spin meisters, , bad science, and deception? How do we keep from fooling ourselves by our own faulty senses, biases, and flaws in our cognition?

    Critical thinking. These skills are vital to most accurately understand and interact with the world around us. Bad information abounds and this course will give you the tools to avoid the pitfalls so many fall into.

    This course is excellent. The material is presented in a very clear and enjoyable way with many examples we are all familiar with. I can't say enough good things about this course.

    EVERYBODY should listen to this course!!!! The world would be a much better place.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3699)
    Performance
    (3428)
    Story
    (3436)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Good writing, poor story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is my second Gaiman book. I really disliked American Gods but thought I would give him another try, mainly because a lot of other readers love his work. I was hoping to love it too, but I did not.

    I do like his writing and the imagery he paints. I can picture scenes in my head quite vividly. I like the characters and the dialogue as well. He is marvelous as a narrator.

    It is just the story, or lack thereof. It is just rather bizarre fantasy without any direction or point. Maybe there is a point buried in there somewhere but I didn't get it. This seems to be fantasy just for the sake of fantasy, not a real story.

    It reminded me of someone telling be about a very weird dream they had the night before. It may be interesting to them but I always find those recountings boring and silly, kind of like this book..

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2791)
    Performance
    (2649)
    Story
    (2652)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold ""human error"" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Very sciency"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is science fiction heavy on the science, and I like that. I am no NASA engineer but from what I do know much of the astro science in this book seemed entirely plausible. It is a rivetting space survival tale told with great humor and realism. Think Apollo 13 but on Mars and much lower likelyhood of survival. There is a lot of wonkish math to slog through but this adds credulity to the tale. I really enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ian W. Toll
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (274)
    Performance
    (244)
    Story
    (242)

    On the first Sunday in December 1941, an armada of Japanese warplanes appeared suddenly over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and devastated the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Six months later, in a sea fight north of the tiny atoll of Midway, four Japanese aircraft carriers were sent into the abyss. Pacific Crucible tells the epic tale of these first searing months of the Pacific war, when the U.S. Navy shook off the worst defeat in American military history and seized the strategic initiative.

    BB says: "Superb narrative history"
    "Sleep inducing."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I just could not get into this one. I only made it a few hours but the material was very dry. This is compounded by the narrator who has a nasally monotonous delivery. My attention kept drifting off. I had to force myself to pay attention but found a lot of it very boring. Maybe if I stayed with it a little longer it would have gotten better but I pulled the plug.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rose and the Thorn: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1106)
    Performance
    (1024)
    Story
    (1026)

    For more than a year, Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner, Hadrian Blackwater, from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception - Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of - but she's about to find out.

    Cecil says: "Great Series but don't start here"
    "What??? No more??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This whole series is great. These are some of the best this genre has to offer. You will not be disappointed. I would recommend reading them in the order of publishing starting with the Ryria Revelations Trilogy. I hope Michael Sullivan keeps writing these because I love his characters, world, and stories. If you haven't read any of this series yet you are in for a treat.

    Enjoy.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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