This is an excellent course about nutrition. I already knew the basics of this topic, but I learned a lot that will help me improve my immunity and prevent disease - I even learned that I was eating something that was making me sick (sugar alcohols).
This course goes beyond the usual nutrition advice that you get in health books - "Just eat plant-based foods and exercise" - to give you in-depth knowledge of every aspect of nutrition science. It explores the basics of diet and excercise, but it also addresses vitamins and minerals, supplements, fads, real-world problems (like getting hungry at night), specific diseases (diabetes and celiac), the psychology of nutrition, genetics research, what is happening in your body with cells, molecules, and bacteria in different situations (such as dealing with high cholesterol levels), and how to incorporate small changes in your life to make a big difference.
There was some really interesting material about the history of nutrition legislation, but refreshingly, politics were left out of it. Not everything in the book is without bias, but at least, when a bias is presented, it is accomanied with researched evidence and analysis supporting it. For the most part, the course was put together with a minimal amount of judgementalism and fussiness.
I especially liked the frequently asked questions portion in the last chapter. I would recommend listening to that first, but the entire course is valuable, and that's rare for me to say about such a long course.
The narrator, Dr. Roberta Anding, does a good job, but her voice can become flat and repetitive in its intonation and rhythm. She doesn't really excite you about the topic, but she does a decent job of presenting the material. Essentially, she sounds like any ordinary doctor giving a lecture - scientific and methodical, but somewhat flat.
This was well worth a credit, and it's something that I will refer to when I need a refresher about nutrition. I can say that it actually improved my health. If I had to, I would purchase it all over again.
This was a really sweet story about a military family's decision to invite people to their home for dinner during the father's absence while he served in Africa. The little boys in the story mentioned to their mother how much they missed having their father at the dinner table, and the decision was made to invite someone to dinner every so often to fill the empty chair until their father could return from duty a year later.
This is not a fast-moving adventure novel. It's a candid look at raising children in the absence of a parent who is serving their country. I really enjoyed the stories about the dinner guests, which included a senator, a governor, and a myriad of interesting characters. What I enjoyed the most, however, were the parts that dealt with how the children grew in character and empathy in their everyday lives as a result of the connections they made with the dinner guests.
This would be a great book for anyone who enjoys sweet stories, love stories (there are some really interesting romantic sidelines involved), stories about children, or general stories about growing up. Generally, I avoid any books that involve the description "coming of age," because I find that particular phrase to be attached to descriptions of teenage stupidity. This, however, was a true coming-of-age tale about young boys learning to appreciate their community and a mother learning to nurture her children through a difficult time.
The only drawback is that the author narrated the book, herself, and while that approach does work in some cases, it really didn't work out well, here. She didn't do the worst job I've ever heard, but her voice has a redundant cadence and a sad tone; I listened to the book at 2x and 3x speed to get past those nuicances. She's just not a professional reader. During the last five minutes, however, one of her sons narrates beautifully, and I really wish he had narrated the entire book.
Overall, this book was well worth the credit, and I may even listen to it again, sometime. It's a good book for a lazy weekend day or for unwinding after a long, difficult day at work. I would highly recommend it because the story will have you smiling with the Smileys. If you're picky about your narrators, however, you may want to buy the hardcopy instead.
I was really impressed with Avery Gilbert's work for the first half of this book. It was a more biologically-based approach than most other works that I've read about the subject. Gilbert explains why some scents are more discernable to some people than to others and why some are not discernable at all to others. He explains the inner workings of our sense of smell in understandable terms and he does so in an interesting way.
Then comes the second half of the book.
From there, it all just goes downhill. The beginning of the end comes with the introduction of the topic of smellovision and the various failed attempts of the film and theater industry to make smellovision a reality. Had this been mentioned briefly, it would have been an interesting side note. Sadly, Gilbert went on and on about it until the the book itself started to stink.
When he finally moved on, it was to discuss the grossest topics he could possibly come up with. It was as if an 8-year-old boy took over the book. Then a 15-year-old took over to bring up implications of scent in the porn industry. Really?
I will say that the last 10 minutes or so were mildly interesting as Gildbert deigned to return to actual science in his discussion of implications for genetics research.
I cannot recommend this book unless, like me, you have a fascination for all things related to scent. If that's the case, just listen until he starts talking about the film industry and then skip to the last 10 or 15 minutes of the book. If you're really interested in the film industry, you might like to listen to that part. Overall, I'm glad I heard the first and last part, but I was really disappointed in what could have been a great book.
This book was not what I expected. I thought I would hear nothing but the history of one of my favorite foods, but instead I was treated to the story of a girl named Kate as she learned to be a professional sushi chef by attending a sushi academy in California. The history of the food was presented as an aside to the story, which was entertaining and educational.
Kate's story has ups and downs, elation and insecurity, but most importantly, it centers around the lesson that was should never give up on ourselves or our dreams. I know that sounds very Disney-like for a book about the history of sushi, but Trevor Carson interweaves Kate's story with so much history and information that his work could be used as a textbook.
I learned a great deal, not only about the history of sushi, but about the art of it. I learned how a sushi chef looks at it, and how the chef hopes that his/her customers will approach it. Personally, I will never eat sushi the same way again. I learned about mistakes I was making that inhibited my full enjoyment of this unique cuisine, how to order properly at a sushi bar, and the differences between true sushi and Americanized sushi.
The narrator did an impressive job narrating the general story line and voicing the different characters. Brian Nishii made me feel as though I were there with Kate struggling through sushi school and wishing I were better at constructing the rolls. Every character had his or her own style and I feel as though I know the characters personally, which is as much a feat of Nishii's as the author's.
The only reason that this book did not receive a full five-star rating is because of the course language and unnecessarily vulgar descriptions that were included. This occurs in sparse patches, but it was a distraction to what could have been a perfect listen. For those with little ones at home, you shoudn't play this audiobook aloud around them, which is a shame, because otherwise, it might have been a book that children might have enjoyed listening to, and it could have been used as a way to interest them in food and cooking.I am of the firm opinion that the F-bomb and sexual descriptions of women and seafood are not appropriate in the first place, but they are all the more inappropriate in a book about the preparation of fine cuisine.
Overall, anyone interested in the topic of sushi or cooking would find this to be an engaging and informative read. Anyone interested in the challenges female chefs face in the male-dominated arena of sushi would also find this story intriguing. It's not a bad listen for the storyline or the information as long as you fast-forward through the vulgar bits.
I had almost written John MacArthur off due to another book he wrote about forgiveness. The topic was approached with such a judgmental attitude that it turned me off. I decided to give him another chance with this book because I love to read about prayer and because Maurice England is one of my favorite narrators.
I was pleasantly surprised that MacArthur did such a magnificent job of presenting prayer conceptually rather than theoretically or as some sort of a step-by-step program as most authors approached it. He begins with the concept that God is always near to us, with us, and wants to hear from us. As simple as that idea may be to grasp theoretically, MacArthur did a beautiful job of making it very real to the listener. He then moves on to deal with various topics such as constant prayer, the use and abuse of memorized prayers, and the use of God's names in prayer. He does a good job of breaking things down and defining terms that other authors tend to skip over. For example, he doesn't just exhort the listener to be in constant prayer, he explains what constant prayer is and what it isn't.
I will listen to this one again, and I will consider it to be one of my more valuable resources on prayer. It would be a good book for anyone who is new to prayer or for people who have years of experience.
I've read several books from the Murder, She Wrote series, and I've really enjoyed them. This was the first one I've listened to in audiobook format. I have to start by saying that Cynthia Darlow is now among my top favorite narrators. She did an outstanding job of differenting the voices of the various characters, and her voice was simultaneously melodic and energetic.
As to the story, while it was sweet in sections, it left a lot to be desired in terms of the movement of the story. I became bored several times during the book because of the slow plot development, and there just wasn't a lot of action or suspense. It actually had a good ending, for a murder mystery, but I wouldn't buy it again. There wasn't anything really awful about the story, it just wasn't that great.
I'll probably try another selection from the series because of the narrator. I'll just assume that this one wasn't one of the best examples.
Barbara Kingsolver and her family embarked on an experiment to grow their own food - both plant and animal - for a year and eat locally grown, seasonally-available produce. I applaud their effort and I do not stand in judgment for anything they did or didn't do in their quest. Kingsolver and her family narrated and didn't do a terrible job although I had to speed it up to 1.5 and 2x in parts because they read very slowly.
This wasn't a bad book. It actually contains a lot of useful information for anyone interested in raising poultry. It just got too preachy in certain areas, it contained too many weird thrown-in references to various religions, and it didn't contain the information I was hoping for in the way of gardening techniques for growing vegetables. Perhaps that last part was unjustified given that I have recently read The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler, which I consider to be the magnum opus of vegetable gardening books. Kingsolver's agenda was very different from Fowler's in that she sought to document her family's year-long quest and not to provide a step-by-step guide.
I have to say that I thought the best part of the book to be the interview with Kingsolver at the end in which she describes the process of writing the book and how she approached it stylistically (which information she decided to include and why). I consider that interview to be one of the best explanations of the ethics and dynamics of the writing process that I've ever heard.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is more of a story than a guide, and maybe that's why I didn't like it more; I wanted a guide. The story is well-documented, although I thought it could have used a little less description and a little more information. Kingsolver and her family have calming voices and they all read very slowly. It took me a couple of months to finish because the book drags in places and the overall pace of the book is so slow that it didn't maintain my attention.
The main point of the book seemed to me to be that there is a moral point to be made about overconsumption and that small, individual efforts against gluttony and overuse of resources add up to big changes. This would be an invaluable reference for anyone who wants to raise their own poultry or for anyone who wants some basic ideas about how to grow or raise their own food. If you're looking for more of a guide to gardening, however; read The Edible Garden by Alys Fowler. Something else - you may not want to listen to this one while driving. It's not exactly caffeine for the mind and it drags in places, but it's a great listen around bedtime or while doing something else around the house.
I was really impressed with this book. Lee Strobel is best known for his works dealing with the topic of apologetics (the study of the proof of the existence of God). There is some of that in this book, of course, but I didn't find it preachy in the slightest. What I did find was action, romance, realistic discussions about church vs. state issues, and a really good legal/political thriller.
The book centers on a pastor of an evangelical megachurch that is considering pursuing an appointment for the remainder of a senatorial term. Throw in a nonreligious reporter covering a dangerous political story, a romance that connects the reporter with the megachurch, mob connections, and legal intrigue that explores the church vs. state issue, and you have a really interesting read.
The narrator could have been better, but Scott Brick's performance wasn't bad by any means.
If you want a good drama, thriller, this is a good choice. At the risk of a spoiler alert, you should know that the ending is not entirely happy. I found it satisfying, but there are sad parts.
This was Strobel's first fiction work, and I'm looking forward to more from him.
This is a great book for beginning and experienced gardeners. It is full of information that would be valuable to any gardener. The author covers companion planting, organic solutions, container and ground gardening, getting the most out of your gardening area, and how to use your crop (cooking, herbal uses, etc.).
I will purchase this book in hardcover soon, but I will also listen to the audiobook version again. Just don't try to listen to it while you're driving. It's not the narrator, as she did a wonderful job, and she has a soothing voice that isn't too sing-songish. The boring parts are the lists of spacing requirements, types of plants and herbs that are useful for various situations, etc. Granted it isn't a book that was really intended to be an audiobook, but I will probably listen to it at least a couple of times a year to prepare myself for the planting seasons, anyway. That said, I may listen to it before going to bed or while doing housework - definitely not while operating heavy machinery.
If you love gardening, you will love this book. Do yourself a favor and listen to it before buying seeds or planting. Just don't listen to it while driving.
This is a good book for organic gardeners who know nothing or very little about organic gardening. It's a quick read, so don't expect too much in-depth information. However, there was more detail to this short book than I had anticipated.
I learned, for example, that I can mail order beneficial insects. Who would have thought? I'm sure there are people who do this all the time, but I had never heard of it. Some of the more detailed ideas of companion planting were also new to me.
Beginning gardeners will benefit from listening to this gem. It was worth the credit, and I will probably listen to it again, but people who already know the topic will probably find this a little too introductory for their tastes.
Dr. Stanley gives a very broad-spectrum approach to reaching your full potential as a Christian. He addresses time, resource, and health management, he gives clear and simple advice about ways to control influences and thought patterns, and he makes the point very plainly that God is to be center of your every decision, but he doesn't leave you alone to figure out God's will by yourself. He gives concrete examples of how to pray for guidance in making decisions.
A lot of the book is about trusting God - trusting that He will make his plans known to you if you ask Him before making your own plans, trusting that God is good and that He has your best interests in mind, trusting that God is capable of bringing about His purposes through you no matter what you think you are or are not good at, and trusting that He will always be there whether you succeed or fail. Dr. Stanley uses examples of Biblical characters and how they dealt with trust issues, decisions, and stress.
For me, this book really brought home the importance of prayer BEFORE making decisions. It also illuminated for me just how important one decision can be and therefore, how important it is to bring ALL decisions in prayer to God.
I would encourage anyone who is feeling overwhelmed and frustrated by life to read this book. I am not suggesting that your life will be completely fixed in ten minutes after reading it, but I know that mine has already improved because I have read it. Dr. Stanley offers a great deal of encouragement and practical advice that would be of great help to any believer.
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