This is a very thought provoking book that is not bogged down by a lot of technicalities. Kaku-san brings us up to date on recent research in biology and cognitive science against a physics (quantum) background. There is speculation, prediction and thoughtful projection of the scientific world presented in a thoroughly entertaining read (or listen). The latter part of the book is a little too much of a rehash of "futurism" (with less of a focus on the mind), but it is still very interesting.
Complex science made accessible for the interested laymen. If you can read (and generally understand) a Scientific American article, you will have no problem with this book.
Good, but not the best. Yes, you can listen to this book at 1.25x and miss little.
The discussion of recent evidence of structural and chemical deficiencies in the brain and their link to mental illness was most interesting. It appears that psychiatry has been trying for 80 years to fix a car's engine by polishing the hood instead of looking inside.
This is one you will want to listen to and finish as soon as you can. Real reading enjoyment.
This is a great course if you are interested in Roman history. The course really is a history of the Roman empire from inception to its decline and fall told against the background of barbarian invasions and interactions.
Professor Harl's discussion of economic and social factors influencing Roman history was wonderful. He is very careful to disclose sensitive issues in historiography and to let the listener know which side of a controversy he is on. Very, very professional.
The unbelievable breadth of his knowledge and detailed observations concerning cause and effect in Rome's interaction (and integration) with barbarians. I came feel that I could see the panorama of Roman history and the factors (and internal inconsistencies) that led to its fall. There is a lot here for politicians to learn from.
Not that type of book. But I really enjoyed Professor Harl's presentation. Even in 40 hours of Roman history there was never a dull moment (in fact, I was constantly going back to listen again to the details in certain passages).
Easy to listen to a 1.25x rather than 1.0.
This is a fabulous course. The course covers over 3 thousands years of Central Asian and Near Eastern history and is a wonderful introduction to the Empires that have flourished there over this period. You come to appreciate the mounted archer and the savagry of the great warriors of the plains as well as their military sophistication.
The discussion of Ghenghis Kahns, his sons and the history of their empires is fascinating. This is the best structured overview of this topic that I have ever hear (or seen). Really a wonderful course and presentation.
To say that Professors Harl has an encyclopedic knowledge of Central Asian, Near Eastern and European history is an incredible understatement. You will be constantly dazzled by the facts, figures and analysis that rolls of Professor Harl's tongue seemingly without end.
Ninja's of the dessert--3,000 years of the horse archer.
I might listen to a few segments, especially if I were to consider a visit there.
This is a very entertaining (and easy) read. You learn about how deadly so many animals can be in Australia and what a unique place it is. Reading this book really moves you to Google Map Austraila's great Outback. You realize how right Bill is--there is just nothing there for tens of thousands of square miles.
Bill Bryson is a very gifted reader of his own matial giving every humorous observation exactly the right tone and cadance to make you laugh out loud (very disconcerting to other passangers on the Shanghai subway where I commute).
I like Bill's books a lot as they are among the few that can make me laugh out loud. He is a very entertaining writer even on topics you that you expect to be pretty serious.
This is a top level read and it is one of Ken Follett's most enduring and timeless novels. Great character development over a very long book (almost 1,000 pages in printed form).
Follett has several great passages in this novel. He is extremely adept at placing sympathetic figures in dangerous circumstances and creating very dramatic tension. He also uses a wide canvas of geography (from York to Jerusalem) and history (period from "White Ship" to death of Thomas Becket) to tell a great story of ordinary people facing great challenges and themselves creating enduring beauty.
I think his performance of Prior Phillip was best with Jack second. Female characters were also handled well. My only complaint on the performance was that it got pretty worn out in over 40 hours of listening ;)
Be Glad You Live Now!
An exceptional Professor who makes the context of every historical battle very informative and engaging.
Lives of the Noble Greeks -- Just Kidding
Don't Bet On the Favorites!
Yes. This book tells a story of human endurance in a unimaginably alien environment supported by great science and our current understanding of the Red Planet.
The trip across the Martian surface to the return module.
The struggle to create food sufficient to survive a rescue mission
This is a really well written and presented analysis of the very complex topic of the strategic challenge to US power posed by the South China Sea and the countries which surround it. Informed by a large number of in-person interviews with strategic participants it is one of the very few "current affairs" type books that is a truly absorbing read.
The discussions of the roles of Lee Kuan Yu and Chiang Kai Shek in creating the current East Asia. Both descriptions were very insightful and informative.
This is the first one. It is excellent even at 1.25x.
"The Coming Storm"
Would really love to meet Mr. Kaplan in person some day. He bring deep historical knowledge to current affairs. Really wonderful book!
You Won't Believe
Very good overview of the history of spying and covert operations from ancient times to the modern era. Not nearly long or detailed enough to do the subject justice, however. The course teacher is superb--really, really talented at presenting the topic--not a minute of boredom here.
History of covert operations in the 19th Century was fascinating.
When the spies caught caught and killed--it happens more often than we imagine.
There is a need for more objective reviews of this topic in the literature and fewer "gee-whiz" types books (a la Clancy). This is towards the Le Carre style and the lecturer has great understanding of his topic.
Hold Your Seat
Good character development; recognizable locations and plot development.
No. But the narrator is good. I chose this over several other narrations because of its higher rating and I was not disappointed.
Spying Against the French Revolution
Great Gothic type novel of spying. I picked this up because of other books on spying generally. It is viewed as the earliest and one of the best of the genre. That assessment is accurate. Ignore what they told you about this being a romance novel in high school. Great stuff, wish I had read it earlier in my life :)
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