YAKIMA, WA, United States | Member Since 2013
The information contained in this book is excellent, full and very interesting. I was disappointed with the frustrating narration and slightly stilted organization of the writing. Regardless of the minor writing style distractions and the major narration distractions, I would highly recommend the book.
I recently read Tom Standage's "History of the World in 6 Glasses." Similar to "An Edible History of Humanity," 6 glasses is a not-quite-chronological and broad-ranging history of the world focused on one aspect of humanity. Also similar to 6 glasses, Edible History is organized what feels like a 5 paragraph essay format or a textbook chapter. Standage starts with his general introduction to the chapter topic, fills it out with specific examples, interesting details and related stories or anecdotes. Unfortunately, he tends to then restate his "thesis" or the main chapter points before moving on to a related but separate topic which he introduces using similar phrasing to the previous topic introduction. I found this annoying at first (in both books) but was less bothered as the audiobook progressed (I skimmed the summaries in the 6 glasses book which I read instead of listening to).
The narrator's faults I had more trouble moving past. When the book began I thought I was listening to a filmstrip narration or an educational video being show during a particularly boring elementary school class. Later, when I had come to terms with the filmstrip-voice (though I never liked it), I was pained by the voices used by the narrator to distinguish quotes from various famous characters in the book. The Christopher Columbus voice was annoying, the Adam Smith voice was painful and the French pronunciation was painful to anyone who doesn't expect a nasal R in people and place names.
My frustrations with repetition and terrible narration aside, I enjoyed the book greatly. I was particularly pleased with some explanations on various topics that were more complete and more clear (except when spoken in French) than those I have read in previous books. I tend to devour a lot of this sort of book--idiosyncratic histories of specific topics--and I felt like this book was a complement to those I have read. On the few occasions when the author repeated information I already knew, he generally quickly related it to his topic of food and other ideas he had also been discussing.
Though the book suggests it will simply be a history of food, the author does an excellent job of integrating and incorporating politics, world events and individual experiences into his interpretation. I look forward to reading more of Tom Standage's work (hopefully with a different narrator).
There were a few remarkable specific areas where Standage improved upon my previous understanding of events or issues. Standage gave a much better explanation of the development of maize than I encountered in my previous reading (particularly Gavin Menzies' problematic 1421). I also was fascinated with the discussion of the health benefits of hunter-gather societies over agricultural ones and the explanation of why the nutritionally inferior agriculture took over and transformed the world.
Unfortunately I took notes for this book on my iPhone Audible App and the automatic spelling correction has replaced my note about something in 6000BCE in the near east with "bug blogs" I'm guessing they didn't have bug blogs in 6000BCE, so I'll have to go back and figure that out.
The book sounds fascinating, unfortunately, it just didn't deliver. There seemed to be too much elaboration on the less interesting bits and not enough interesting bits. I just couldn't get into it enough to think much of the book.
This wasn't my favorite of the Connie Willis stories I've read, but it had some interesting ideas. The performance was good. I found the main character a little tedious, but its been a little while since I listened to it.
I got this book for some research into feminism for a presentation later this winter. I was surprised by how much I already new, but this book helped refresh my memory and straighten out some information for me about the earliest iterations of feminist action.
Good quick review if you need it. Good intro if you need that.
I was hesitant to get this because I've read a lot about evolution and figured this wouldn't be anything new. I did enjoy Nye's debate with that one creationist guy, and the reviews for Undeniable were quite high, so I gave it a shot.
And I was not disappointed. This book was really great. I was surprised by how many new ideas or new explanations or new perspectives Nye managed to cram into the book. Nye seems like an interesting guy and is a good performer/ reader.
You won't regret this purchase.
I loved the rest of the Lunar Chronicles and I thought this was the next in the series. I guess that's what I get for not reading the description carefully. I am looking forward to the real next book in the series, which comes out in FALL 2015.
Soler is good. Its the book I have a problem with.
nope, not really. Ok, maybe if you're really really into the Lunar Chronicles and need all the backstory, but this was just slow and depressing backstory for a storybook villain.
Don't read this expecting any of the things you actually enjoy about the rest of the Lunar Chronicles, like interesting women fighting the "man" against all odds. This is a book about the "man" (except, uh, the queen, in this case).
On average I enjoyed the book. There were some topics (or materials) I found riveting, others I would have skimmed or skipped in a paper copy.
sure, the book is a pleasant, enjoyable listen, especially if you already read Bossypants, enjoyed it and are looking for something different that is almost as good.
I found Poehler's struggles with the process of writing endearing and interesting to hear.
I can't imagine reading this particular book, because it has so many guest narrators (famous comedians, mostly) and a live performance of the last chapter.
Its not that kind of book, but Seth Myers' praise of the Palin Rap made me go watch it again. funny.
If you like Scalzi books, especially those read by Will Wheaton, you'll probably enjoy this one. It's fast paced, interesting but certainly a fairly light read.
Also Wil Wheaton is the best narrator ever (right after Jim Dale) and perfect for this sort of story.
I'm not sure why I thought I might enjoy the second of this series when I only vaguely liked the first. I think I just wish it were written by Connie Willis.
The story kept veering off randomly after what seemed like major events. Bad things happened, but then we're just over it, I guess? Whatever. I think the plot could use some editing to make it more clear or more logical or something.
Neat premise, but skip Taylor and read the Doomsday Book or Connie Willis' other Oxford Time Travel books.
This book was a little underwhelming, but the premise was neat.
I didn't particularly like the main characters, but I did enjoy some of the events that happened to them as they wandered through familiar stories. I also liked the way the changes in the story caught us up to our real world. It was fun to imagine the world as it was supposed to be at the start of their story.
I want more of this, but written by someone else.
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