Bellevue, WA, United States | Member Since 2015
This might be better as an actual book rather than an audio book. What captured me in the title was "the louse that conquered Napoleon's Army," and I was thinking there would be good and quirky info about that. Well, not really. Each chapter gives technical info on some kinds of bug, and there is a story to go with each one, but the scientific info far outweighs the quirky info. I can imagine reading this book in print and being able to skim through the scientific info to get to the quirky stuff, and getting through it all during a short trip to Starbucks. Sadly, in an audio, there is no skimming, or at least it's very difficult. Also, the chapters on the audio did not match up with actual chapters, so skipping ahead to the next chapter didn't work. I'm sorry I spent a credit on this. It was definitely not worth it.
I have read several other books in this vain, such as Stiff: the curious life of human cadavers by Mary Roach and At Home: a short history of private life by Bill Bryson. Both were more engaging and interesting than Miodownik's detailed description of the history of items found in a photograph of his from decades ago. While I learned from Miodownik's descriptions, it was like sitting through a lecture from your most boring college professor. I say skip this book and try another.
I very much enjoyed this intertwining tale of a doctor with a Jane Doe under her care and Reni, an orphan girl raised by her grandfather. It is clear from early on that Reni is the Jane Doe and as the book unfolds the storylines of Jane Doe and her doctor get closer and closer to the story of Reni. My only complaint is with the audio version of the book and the incorrect pronunciation of some of our Washington State locations.
Sequim = skwim, not se-kweem
Alki = Alk-eye not alkee
I really wanted to enjoy this book. It is an important piece of literature that opened a window into a world little understood at the time. But I just couldn't find myself drawn to it. I did listen to the book and while the narrator was good, I wonder if this is one of those examples where the beauty and power of a book is lost through this medium. In the end, it was a disappointing use of my time, and that makes me sad.
I liked Krakaur's book about the ill-prepared and self centered Chris McCandless who died of starvation in remote Alaska. There is nothing in McCandless' life that appeals to me personally; however, Krakaur's research and commentary brings perspective and analysis to McCandless' poor decisions that led to his untimely demise. There are a few chapters about Krakaur's pursuit of an Alaskan peak that were not pertinent to the book.
This book did not end how I thought it would, and I am completely ok with that. It's an interesting part of life: dealing with the death of a loved one, and this book explores that and the lost desires and wishes of those who remain and the relationship they still long for with their departed loved one. What happens if that person just calls one day? Albom's writing is compelling and he knows how to weave a story that draws you in and holds you until the last word.
To me, classic Picoult: well told, emotionally manipulative book. That said, I did enjoy it. Picoult does have a great way of weaving a tale, and this one of 13 year-old Jenna trying to locate her missing mom is sweet and surprising. I thoroughly enjoyed the elephant details (they are my favorite animal) and the few twists that show up along the way. Great relaxing read, but not exceptional literature.
I liked, but didn't love, this story of a golem (clay creature created to be human-like and serve a master) and jinni whose lives cross paths in early 1900s New York City. It took a bit too long to get to the crux of the story and while one reader might think the additional details added to the story, I felt they took away from it as too many characters were introduced that had small parts throughout the book, but not enough to hold onto who that person was and their significance. There could have been some simplification to strengthen the final story. Despite that frustration of mine, I was interested through the end and curious as to where the story would lead.
This came recommended so I was looking forward to the listen, but finally have it up about one-third of the way through. I'm not sure if it was the uninspired narration or the story that went no where fast that caused me to give up. I felt bad about quitting, but within 5 minutes of my next book I was glad I did.
First comment on the audio: of course they are poor quality. They were recorded with old equipment in the 60s. I get that. I just mention the poor quality because it does make it hard to listen to when there are other noises--like road noise when driving, or environment noise when out for a walk.
Two things make this worth the listen: hearing MLK's voice and message and the introductions for each sermon, each intro by a different person. I so appreciated understanding the context of the sermon or the person MLK prior to hearing his message, and does he give a good message! I also appreciate that MLK's message was consistent. This has been worth my time and reflection.
Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.
What a way to start a book. Lydia is a teenager, the middle of three children in a mixed-race family (Asian and Caucasian)of the 60s and 70s. The book is an exploration of why and how Lydia is dead. This isn't a murder mystery or suspense novel, it is a delicate emotional and social investigation of the family, so carefully done that you feel you are a secret member of the family, watching it all unfold, sometimes knowing, and other times not, what is about to happen and what the untold things are. It is definitely worth your time.
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