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OpenMindedNotCredulous

Secular humanist. Atheist. Dog lover (having had as many as four dogs in my pack). Skeptic.

California, USA | Member Since 2003

54
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 10 reviews
  • 491 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 50 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
3

  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6079)
    Performance
    (5779)
    Story
    (5788)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "a story which tries hard to get the science right"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As a geek I loved that the author doesn't resort to a deus ex machina. Yes, there are lucky breaks. But throughout the story the author uses actual science to explain how the protagonist manages to survive on Mars. Even if you're not a science geek you should read this book. You don't even have to know what hydrogen or a liter is. The science doesn't get in the way of the story but will give you a sense for why science is important even to your life on Earth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Divine Misfortune

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By A. Lee Martinez
    • Narrated By Fred Berman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (317)
    Story
    (322)

    Teri and Phil had never needed their own personal god. But when Phil is passed up for a promotion - again - it's time to take matters into their own hands. And look online. Choosing a god isn't as simple as you would think. There are too many choices; and they often have very hefty prices for their eternal devotion: blood, money, sacrifices, and vows of chastity. But then they find Luka, raccoon god of prosperity. All he wants is a small cut of their good fortune. Oh - and to crash on their couch for a few days.

    Amazon Customer says: "Office Space rewritten by Disney"
    "Absurdist comedy exploring what if gods were real"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I haven't had this much fun listening to fiction in a long time. As other reviewers have noted this will be most appealing to atheists and theists who are willing to entertain the idea that their religion may not be the only "truth". What I didn't see mentioned by others is the superb narration. Not only does each character have a distinct voice in many cases it's hard to imagine the character speaking any other way. I found this especially true for the main god, Lucky, as well most of the other characters (although this didn't extend to the main mortal protagonists Terry and Phil).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Nick Offerman
    • Narrated By Nick Offerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (680)
    Performance
    (647)
    Story
    (647)

    Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman - who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking - he runs his own woodshop - Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman's childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois, to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally.

    OpenMindedNotCredulous says: "On the need to acknowledge the role luck plays"
    "On the need to acknowledge the role luck plays"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't think I've ever laughed so much listening to a book. Admittedly I'm in the ideal demographic for this book: a middle age male who enjoys living life with gusto, eating and drinking heartily, and working with wood. Still, I suspect that anyone who enjoys the TV show "Parks and Recreation" will enjoy this book. This is essentially an autobiography but with a lot of wit, wry humor and frequent acknowledgement that he's been lucky. It leaves no doubt that Nick is someone you'd be happy to call a friend.

    Warning: If you're a fundamentalist christian you're likely to be offended by his observations regarding religion in the early part of the book. But if you're an atheist or at least religiously liberal you'll enjoy those parts as much as everything else he has to say.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Fox Effect: How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By David Brock, Ari Rabin-Havt, Media Matters for America
    • Narrated By Bob Dunsworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    The Fox Effect follows the career of Ailes from his early work as a television producer and media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. Consequently, when he was hired in 1996 as the president of Rupert Murdoch’s flagship conservative cable news network, Ailes had little journalism experience, but brought to the job the mindset of a political operative. As Brock and Rabin-Havt demonstrate through numerous examples, Ailes used his extraordinary power and influence to spread a partisan political agenda....

    Robert A. Lime says: "Pretty good - just a liberal confirmation bias boo"
    "I thought I knew how awful FOX news was"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If only FOX news was as "fair and balanced" as this book. If you really care about a "fair and balanced" presentation of the facts you must read to this book. I don't expect anyone to change their opinion about the best way to spend our tax dollars or what societal goals are desirable as a result of reading this book. But do read this book so you will realize the FOX has an agenda that has nothing to do with being fair and balanced in their presentation of the facts.

    I listen to NPR and BBC news every day. I read Glenn Greenwald and other progressive bloggers such as The Rude Pundit. But I also regularly read other conservatives such as David Brooks, Peggy Noonan and Charles Krauthammer. I was already aware of the study which showed that people who primarily got their news from FOX were significantly more likely to believe bogus "facts" (e.g., about Iraq and WMDs). So I thought I knew how much FOX news skewed reality for their audience. This book made me realize the situation is far worse than I knew.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The War After Armageddon

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Ralph Peters
    • Narrated By Michael Warner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (176)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (46)

    Shocking scenes of battle, unforgettable soldiers, heartbreaking betrayals. In this stunning, fast-paced novel, a ruthless future war unfolds in a 21st century nightmare: Los Angeles is a radioactive ruin; Europe lies bleeding; and Israel has been destroyed with millions slaughtered. A furious America fights to reclaim the devastated Holy Land. The Marines storm ashore; the U.S. Army does battle in a Biblical landscape.

    Joshua says: "Harry Turtledove, this is not."
    "Forget Freddy Krueger"
    Overall

    If you like nightmares don't bother with Freddy Krueger ("A Nightmare on Elm Street "). Instead listen this tale of religious fanatics doing their best to drag the world back to the dark ages. The first couple of minutes left me wondering if I had bought a story that was going to extoll the virtues of religion. But as the story unfolds you realize that the devoutly religious are not the heroes. If this book doesn't make you actively work to marginalize the likes of John Hagee, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum then you had better be comfortable with the idea of being killed because you were declared a witch by others in your community.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Matt Taibbi
    • Narrated By Patrick Egan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (223)
    Story
    (217)

    The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn’t past but prologue. The stunning rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street in the bubble-and-bailout era was the coming-out party for the network of looters who sit at the nexus of American political and economic power. The grifter class - made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding - has been growing in power for a generation.

    Jerome says: "News In America"
    "Could cause an aneurism or even stroke"
    Overall

    This is classic Matt Taibbi. He is not afraid to use blunt, honest, language. Such as calling the individuals who nearly caused another Great Depression a variety of terms never heard from journalists or the pundit class except when attempting to smear members of the other political party.

    Having read other books on the recent financial crisis (e.g., "The Big Short") I thought I had a good understanding of the underlying causes and perpetrators. But listening to Matt's account I found myself occasionally sounding like a sufferer of Tourette syndrome as I learned new details about how the amoral, greedy, stupid "masters of the universe" at AIG, GoldmanSachs, et. al. nearly destroyed the world.

    Buy a copy for yourself and another for your Tea Bagger family member or friend.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Garth Stein
    • Narrated By Christopher Evan Welch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5516)
    Performance
    (3470)
    Story
    (3478)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: If you’ve ever loved a dog - or even patted a dog - this book, told from the perspective of man’s best friend, will tug at your heartstrings...and won’t let go until long after Welch performs the last word. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master.

    Lora says: "Enzo (because he's so wize) for president."
    "A story with a unique perspective"
    Overall

    This story made me think of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night". That book is told from the perspective of an autistic child. This one from the perspective of a dog. In both you are drawn into the protagonists world. Here the author does a marvelous job of giving the dog just enough human qualities that you can relate to his viewpoint yet you never lose sight of the fact a dog is narrating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    Overall
    (763)
    Performance
    (367)
    Story
    (367)

    Picking up where Bible expert Bart Ehrman's New York Times best seller, Misquoting Jesus, left off, Jesus, Interrupted addresses the larger issue of what the New Testament actually teaches...and it's not what most people think. This is the book that pastors, educators, and anyone interested in the Bible have been waiting for, a clear and compelling account of the central challenges we face when attempting to reconstruct the life and message of Jesus.

    Paul says: "Excellent book"
    "Perfect balance of plain language and scholarship"
    Overall

    This is the most approachable critical historical look at Jesus and the New Testament that I've yet read. This book should be mandatory reading for everyone, both believers and non-believers, who holds a strong opinion regarding Christianity. It certainly won't turn a non-believer into a believer. It's unlikely to turn a believer into a non-believer. But it is likely to make both sides take less extreme stances regarding the role of Christianity (especially those of the American Evangelical persuasion) in todays society.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Time Enough for Love

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Robert A. Heinlein
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (680)
    Performance
    (341)
    Story
    (353)

    Lazarus Long, the main protagonist and Heinlein's alter ego, is so in love with life he refuses to die. Born in 1916, he lives through multiple centuries. Time Enough for Love is the telling of his journey, lovingly detailed, through a vast and magnificent timescape of centuries and worlds.

    Frederick says: "Content Wonderful - Audio Product Dubious"
    "One of my favorites"
    Overall

    I first read this book roughly 20 years ago and have read most of Robert Heinlein's books. This is one of my favorites (along with "Starship Troopers" and "Stranger In A Strange Land"). But what prompted me to write this review was the narration. It is on a par with the narration for "Water For Elephants". The narration does a good job of making each character distinct and bringing the story to life. It is a good example of an audio book that is better than the dead tree version.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Strangers

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1349)
    Performance
    (587)
    Story
    (587)

    A handful of people. From different backgrounds, living in different towns and cities across America, they had nothing in common - except fear. Deep in the heart of a sprawling desert, a dark memory called out to them, drawing them to the Tranquility Motel - where the terrifying truth was waiting.

    Barry F. Stinson says: "Brilliant"
    "Great narration of one of Koontz's best stories"
    Overall

    This was the second Dean Koontz book I read many years ago and is still one of my favorites. It is closer to science fiction than his more recent work. Particularly refreshing is the portrayal of a priest who embraces rationality rather. But what really earned this audio book five stars is the narration. This is one of the best readings of any fiction book I've listened to in the past couple of years. The only other book whose narration I think is of comparable quality is "Water for Elephants".

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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