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Encinitas, CA, United States

  • 3 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 107 titles in library
  • 3 purchased in 2015

  • Splendid Solution: Jonas Salk and the Conquest of Polio

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Kluger
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Salk became a cultural hero and icon for a whole generation. Now, at the fiftieth anniversary of the first national vaccination program, and as humanity is tantalizingly close to eradicating polio worldwide, comes this unforgettable chronicle. Salk's work was an unparalleled achievement, and it makes for a magnificent listen.

    Tim says: "Excellent book"
    "Interesting story, weak characters, too detailed"

    This book relates a truly interesting episode in recent history, and does an outstanding job illustrating how the medical scientific process can really work -- and how public perception can be pretty far out of line with medical reality.

    The author's work leaves much to be desired. The book too often focuses annoyingly on useless details, such as whether coffee was served, or where a camera was placed in a lecture hall; yet it skims far too lightly over issues of character: why key people in the story behaved as they did.

    I found myself playing the book at 1.5x or ever 2x speed to zoom through portions where unimportant details were conveyed for minutes at a time; yet I was hungry for more about the key players' difficulties, joys, and formative experiences -- and the utterly unexplained motivations for some of the biggest conflicts described.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Mary Roach
    • Narrated By Sandra Burr
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Space is a world devoid of the things we need to live and thrive: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh produce, privacy, beer. Space exploration is in some ways an exploration of what it means to be human. How much can a person give up? How much weirdness can they take? What happens to you when you can’t walk for a year? Have sex? Smell flowers? What happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk? Is it possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour?

    Roy says: "Everything You Always Wanted to Know - and More"
    "Everything you wanted to know about feces in orbit"

    First I should mention that this book has almost nothing to do with a journey to Mars, and not very much to do with what to bring when going into space.

    What we have here is an extremely detailed recounting of the biological, psychological, and hygiene problems that astronauts have in space -- with a strong focus on the US space flights of the 1960s. If you want to know whether it's hard to urinate in zero gravity, or whether the inside of a space capsule smells bad, or whether astronauts are annoyed by their schedules, this is your book. It was all kind of interesting, but not what I was looking for. I now have visions of floating turds inside a space capsule that are pretty hard to unsee.

    Also, the author thinks she is funny, and thinks we want to hear all about how she looked into these topics, what the people she interviewed are like at lunchtime, and whether she enjoyed learning about each subject. Frankly I got pretty tired of learning about her and her unimportant reactions, as opposed to the actual (icky) subjects.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Desperate Networks

    • ABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Bill Carter
    • Narrated By Dean Olsher

    In a time of sweeping media change, the four major networks struggle for the attention of American viewers increasingly distracted by cable, video games, and the Internet. Behind boardroom doors, tempers flare in the search for hit shows, which often get on the air purely by accident. The fierce competition creates a pressure-cooker environment where anything can happen.

    G Barth says: "How Sausage is Made"
    "A pointless listing of events with no direction"

    I was expecting to see some exciting storytelling, some major business trend themes, and maybe even some character development. What I got felt like hours of someone reading a police blotter aloud: this happened, then this happened, then this person said this, then this happened. The author really fails to find what's interesting or to extract any themes.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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