I have heard about this book for years as a great example of "hard" science fiction - that is, science fiction that concentrates on well-grounded technology (not fantastic elements like Star Wars).
Unfortunately, I didn't take too well to the book. I found the descriptions of the technology to be about as painful as Clancy's overdone battle descriptions in his novels. If that appeals to you, fine - I just found it dull.
The storyline is also slow to start. I was about halfway in and on the verge of giving up when the plot finally took off. I did enjoy it after that. It was just painful to get to that point.
I wouldn't recommend this unless you are a serious fan of the genre.
I got this book expecting a more general treatment of the worldviews presented. Be warned, this is NOT an even-handed text - it is Christian apologetics. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with apologetic books (the book I had listened to just prior was CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity"), but I was given the impression that this text was a general overview instead. Given that perception going in, I was disappointed.
The book starts presenting "Theism" - Christianity. The author dismisses other theistic systems such as Judaism or Islam due to his lack of background, so Christianity is the only example of theism presented. The presentation of Christianity does not deal with any of the challenges of Christianity - it presents it as if it were true. That would be fine if the rest of the systems equally, but it does not.
The rest of the systems presented (Deism, Naturalism, etc.) are first presented as their basic components. Once that's done, the problems of any of those systems are then referred back to how "Theism" (again, Christianity exclusively) addresses that problem.
For an apologetics book, this book does well. It presents positive arguments for Christianity, and how it answers other systems problems. If you want an easy-to-listen to book on apologetics, this is an excellent book. My rating, however, is based not on this aspect, but on the expectation I was given about this book as a general overview.
Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln was a very interesting account of Lincoln's dealings with the people and events around him. It is not what I expected, however. I thought it would be as much about the people around Lincoln instead of just him. However, most of the book is centered on Lincoln himself. The subtitle "The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" would have been the better title for the work.
Also, while the audio presentation was well done, there were no chapter breaks presented in the audio, or the audio file. That makes it difficult to track from session to session.
Still, it was interesting subject matter for anyone who enjoys this period in history.
I really enjoyed Dr. Kreeft's lectures on Ethics. Though the other review found it over-Christian, I did not. He does prefer Socrates over later philosophers, proposing that Socrates overcomes most of the later ethical viewpoints of other figures. While the bias is present, it's not overwhelming of the material. I found this to be an excellent introduction to the different viewpoints of several of the great thinkers of history.
A very well done book presenting the science involved in how we have spiritual experiences. She talks about her own spiritual experience and how it drove her to find out more about how the brain works, how other experience a divine presence, etc. She also gives a good overview of the counter-arguments against these things being anything other than our brain firing in a unique way.
For those of a spiritual inclination, there are many, many stories of people encountering a divine force, and how they became important forces of change for that individual. For those not inclined, it's provides insights into why people feel the way they do, as well as a layman's view of how things happen.
The audio presentation is also well done. The reader does a good job with the material and is easy to understand.
This book is nothing more than left-leaning propaganda. The opening chapter talks about the high position of the US, and peace around the world when Clinton left office. I guess she has forgotten that we had recently had the USS Cole attack, and were heavily involved in Kosovo. The US reputation in the Middle East was no better - Clinton trusted Arafat and helped legitimize the corrupt Fatah terrorists in Gaza.
She also chooses to overlook how much the Clinton foreign policy team initially supported the Iraq War - based partially on intelligence their administration gathered. Only when things didn't go perfectly did the Clintonites bail and go on the attack. This self-promoting book continues that policy.
It's easy to be a Monday-morning quarterback.
This may be one of the best Civil War books I've ever read, simply because it deals with the culture surrounding the time period, not the war itself. Most Civil War books seem preoccupied with the battles and personalities. This book, however, deals with cultural, political and religious trends. By doing so it fleshes out the period much more vividly.
Late in the book, the author's bias comes into play regarding post Civil War industry. If it weren't for that as a disctraction, this would be a 5-star book. Consider this a 4.5 star, book, though. Well done overall.
The best thing about this book is that it is neither a "get rich quick" nor a "save every penny until you are almost dead" book. It's a combination of common sense financial advice with the understanding that only by getting out of debt can you make money work for you instead of against you. If you can't kick the debt habit, get this book. Better yet, find one of his local-run classes.
I got this book because I had heard so much about it over the years. First, let me say the production is top-notch. Is very easy to listen to and all the readers do an excellent job.
The story, though, just didn't measure up to its reputation. I had most of it figured out halfway through. Even the surprise ending was unsurprising.
I gambled on later books, though. "Speaker" is excellent. "Xenocide" is very good, but drags. "Children" - I wouldn't go there again, really.
"Ender's Game" isn't terrible, I just found it more suitable for 12-year olds than 30-somethings.
I have heard about this speech for years, but had never seen it nor heard it until now. Maybe it's better seen, but I was underwhelmed. A lot of fluff and platitudes that you can pour yourself into, and otherwise very unsubstantial. I was hoping for more considering his reputation.
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