Houston, TX, United States | Member Since 2010
In last five or so years that I have been listening to audio books, I have chosen to listen to several nonfiction books on philosopy and even more on science, learning from all and enjoying most. Today I finished A Beginner's Guide to Reality by Jim Baggott and have decided that it is the best of those listens in which the author tried to reconcile science and philosophy as methods of determing what is real and what is not. Baggott develops his discussion chronologically by beginning with Sccrates, Plato, and Aristotle's explanations of reality. He furthers follows the philosophical discussions of this topic through the recent contributors. He makes these discussions interesting by illustrating using pop icons like the movie, "The Matrix." As building a continuum between philosophy and science, he discusses scientists earliest efforts to define what is reaal and follows their changing positions on the subject through the most recent arguments for modified string theory and that elusive "Theory of Everything." I highly recommend this listen to anyone for whom reality is still a mystery worth solving.
I put off reading book for a long time because I had seen the movie version and was put off in a big way. The book is so much better than the movie because the author has a chance to develop the characters. I think it ought to be premarital reading for both men and women, Hopefully men will read it before societal stereotypes of women. The chaipter called author notes is a must read.
The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps by Michael Blanding is exceedingly tedious and boring. It is an endless recitation of banal facts that you wonder how anyone could value. While waiting to engage with the narrative have lots of coffee or Red Bull handy. A primer on historical cartography would have been a better use of Blanding's time.
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf is the poignant story of four women affected in different ways by a terrible tragedy. By allowing the reader see the the other side of terrible wrong and its consequence on the innocent and the guilty, one cannot but leave it with more tolerance for those caught in traps of their own making.
Einstein's Cosmos: How Albert Einstein's Vision Transformed Our Understanding of Space and Time by Michio Kaku is third biography of the physicist that I have recently read/listened to. It focuses more on his work than his personal life. The author explains his complex theories in words and with examples that make them easily understood. This would be an excellent read/listen for anyone who has always wanted someone to explain general relativity and string theory in a way they could be understood. I will probably reread this book again next year. It is that good.
Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedarius is a collection of irreverent, but drily humorous essays and stand up comedic performances. Some of the content was creative, clever, and fresh. Some was not. This listen is not for the easily offended.
I thoroughly enjoyed this spy thriller. Characters and back stories were well developed. Being a liberal Democrat myself, I had no trouble in believing the evil of the villains.
The target audience for Veronica Mars by Rob Thomas is somewhere between those who read Nancy Drew Mysteries and those who would read The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. It is actually the story of Veronica Mars after her TV series. Those like me who found the series better than the critics rated it will be able to connect with many of the back story allusions that she makes. However, in the end, I found it more melodrama than mystery.
The Chosen by Chaim Potok is the story of two Jewish boys each from a different branch of Judaism who become friends and learn great life lessons from one another. Their story discovery and friendship captured my imagination and would not release until the very end. From a practical view The Chosen is an excellent opportunity to increase one's cultural intelligence with regard to the history and the spirituality of the Jews. I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to expand their cultural sensitivity and knowledge of diversity. I am really glad to have read this book.
Before I read On The Road, The Scrolls, I read that Jack Kerouack died at the age of 49. By the time I finished it, I understood what cut his life so short. Still, this listen made me wish that every stranger vaccinated with a phonograph needle, who sat beside me on the plane or those who tried to entertain me until the doctor or dentist would rescue me could word smith their conversations as well as Jack.
The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe is a great primer on virology. Written in understandable language and presented in a simple to complex ascension, it is easily followed. I learned many interesting facts. For instance now I know the difference between a retro virus and a normal virus. Who knew that treatment of the HIV virus requires another active virus in one's system. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to broaden his or her knowledge of virology.
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