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Simon

An Information Systems Analyst involved in setting up new businesses.

Moody, AL, United States | Member Since 2009

18
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 41 ratings
  • 192 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2014
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  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2956)
    Performance
    (2636)
    Story
    (2645)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Madeleine says: "What's that droning sound?"
    "A worthy prequel, but disappointing sequel..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, this is a great book, especially if read before Daniel Suarez's other books Daemon and Freedom TM.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Kill Decision?

    I loved the weaver ant information and references, Suarez always combines entertainment with information.


    What about Jeff Gurner’s performance did you like?

    Jeff Gurner did a great job in the previous books, and has in my view the perfect voice for this book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to this book over the course of three days and was pretty interested.


    Any additional comments?

    This book should have been Suarez's warm-up book, like The Hobbit before Lord of the Rings. If you plan reading all of Saurez's books read this first, as Daemon takes this to the next level.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10327)
    Performance
    (9826)
    Story
    (9845)

    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"
    "MacGyver in Space"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The main character was excellent, resourceful optimistic and funny. The science was realistic not far fetched and was believeable.

    Unlike other space books the author kept the read light hearted, no deep depression, no "in space no-one can hear you scream". This book is full of life, and isn't driven by emptiness and blackness. It is a fun, interesting and engaging book, which is impressive considering there are only really two main story lines running through it (i.e. the astronaut, and the NASA side).

    This book makes you feel involved in an adventure, not stranded on Mars.

    My ONLY complaint was that they spelt out some messages sent in the story, when they could have simply read the words, a little annoying, but only a small part.

    Thoroughly recommend this book, and the narrator was excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Gretchen Reynolds
    • Narrated By Karen Saltus
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (59)

    Every Wednesday, Gretchen Reynolds singlehandedly influences how millions of Americans work out. In her Phys Ed column for The New York Times, she debunks myths, spurs conversation, and creates arguments among her readers by questioning widely held beliefs about exercise. Expanding upon her popular columns, Reynolds tackles the questions we all have and (sometimes) ask about exercise.

    Grant says: "Good info."
    "A great read, but a little too carb centric."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    Okay I learnt a LOT from this book and would definitely recommend it. Gretchen squeezes a lot of the most recent findings related to exercise and nutrition into a concise and informative narrative.

    This book has changed the way I think and do my exercise and have already incorporated HIIT style running sessions in my training with great results. There are many other gems of information but I won't spoil it. If you are remotely interested in fitness or just turning back the biological clock this is a must read.

    Notes from a low-carb perspective...
    Unlike other books the author does not unnecessarily demonise fat, but seems not ready to make the leap to saying fat can be healthy, and Gretchen still conveys a carbohydrate centric view of diet which was a mild but not unexpected disappointment.

    In the end her only concession was saying high fat diets are fine if you exercise, I might argue similarly for carb based diet, but thats still not mainstream opinion. Even if you are keto / paleo there is still plenty to learn from this book. enjoy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Martin Meredith
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (21)

    In Born in Africa, Martin Meredith follows the trail of discoveries about human origins made by scientists over the last hundred years, recounting their intense rivalry, personal feuds, and fierce controversies, as well as their feats of skill and endurance. The results have been momentous. Scientists have identified more than 20 species of extinct humans. They have firmly established Africa as the birthplace not only of humankind but also of modern humans.

    Simon says: "Up to date interesting"
    "Up to date interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great book filled with great information. This book is as much about the people who made the discoveries as the discoveries themselves. Personally I would have preferred less of the people story but regardless it was well worth the read and I got a huge amount of information from the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Great by Choice

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen
    • Narrated By Jim Collins
    Overall
    (952)
    Performance
    (796)
    Story
    (798)

    The new question: Ten years after the worldwide bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins returns to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? In Great by Choice, Collins and his colleague, Morten T. Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times. The new study: Great by Choice distinguishes itself from Collins’s prior work by its focus on the type of unstable environments faced by leaders today.

    K. Donath says: "Real Insight!!"
    "Surprisingly good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Whether you are an entrepreneur, investor or a manager this book provides useful information in a thought provoking and approachable way.

    The book discusses how a range of different companies succeeded in turbulent business climates, and relates the lessons learned to other ventures such as scaling Everest and reaching the South Pole. It is immensely useful not only in improving how you manage, but also in helping you identify well managed companies (hence why I suggest this read for investors as well).

    While I class buying this book as research, it has also been one of the most entertaining and engaging books I have heard this year. The only down side for me was the narration which is a little choppy, however listening to the book at 2x speed alleviated this.

    Needless to say I heartily recommend this book to anyone wanting to quantify what makes some companies super successful. Anyone with even a passing interest in this field will find its stories hugely interesting ind insightful.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Christopher McDougall
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4900)
    Performance
    (2629)
    Story
    (2673)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

    Corey says: "Amazing read - even for non-runners"
    "Rich, deep and hugely interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has caused me to rethink the my entire book rating system. This book serves as a repository for running related science, history and motivating stories with great characters. I have read most of the books on running in Audible now, and this stands ahead of the pack.

    This is THE book that every runner, especially new runners should read. In a world of 5 star books this is a 6. This book has taught me more than every other running book combined.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Long Run: One Man's Attempt to Regain his Athletic Career-and His Life - by Running the New York City Marathon

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Matthew Long, Charles Butler
    • Narrated By Matthew Del Negro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (330)
    Performance
    (230)
    Story
    (228)

    On the morning of December 22, 2005, New York City firefighter Matt Long was cycling to work when he was struck by and sucked under a 20-ton bus making an illegal turn. The injuries he sustained pushed him within inches of death. Miraculously, after five months in the hospital and more than 40 operations, Matt was able to start his recovery. This book chronicles Matt's road to recovery as he teaches himself to walk again and, a mere three years later, to run in the 2008 New York City Marathon.

    Sarah says: "Only 1/2 way through and loving it"
    "Tough as nails"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This guy is obviously as tough as they come, and this is an equally tough book. I listened to it within a 24hr period, partly because I didn't want to be in a black mood for any longer. I don't mind admitting I had tears in my eyes for portions, partly because of Longs struggle, and partly because of the support he received from his family and community. Powerful, upsetting, heart warming and intense, this is not a light book but it is very thought provoking and interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ultramarathon Man: Confession of an All-Night Runner

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Dean Karnazes
    • Narrated By James Yaegashi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (435)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (224)

    Karnazes reveals the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada.

    Andrea says: "Not as self-congratulating as others have said"
    "Great book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Got annoyed with the narrators slow pace and long pauses so set the speed to 2x and recommend you try it. It makes the book seem much more lighthearted and, whether you run or not I am sure you will really enjoy it.

    The book is funny at times and doesn't take itself too seriously, great fun. Read 'The Long Run' recently, which is also really good but completely different, and this helped me get over the stress :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Electric Universe: The Shocking True Story of Electricity

    • ABRIDGED (4 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Bodanis
    • Narrated By Adam Levy
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In his best-selling E=mc2, David Bodanis led us, with astonishing ease, through the world's most famous equation. Now, in Electric Universe, he illuminates the wondrous yet invisible force that permeates our universe, and introduces us to the virtuoso scientists who plumbed its secrets.

    Simon says: "Amazing Book!"
    "Amazing Book!"
    Overall

    This is the only book I have in both print and audio format. It paints a great picture of the development of our understanding of electricity through the ages. Not only this but it highlights the most interesting stories and people involved, and puts it in context of what was going on at the time.

    In addition to this I think it imparts a good fundamental understanding of what electricity is. I certainly feel it did a better job than my teachers at college. If you are interested in inventing, good stories or just electricity this has it all.

    If I have one complaint its that I wish Nikola Tesla was mentioned more.

    Currently I am listening to it for a second time (I never normally listen to books twice) and its teaching me even more the second time round. A lovely book, very educational, and I will encourage my children to read it when they are a little older.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Phantom Major

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Virginia Cowles
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (161)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (62)

    In the dark and uncertain days of 1941 and 1942, when Rommel's tanks were sweeping towards Suez, a handful of daring raiders were making history for the Allies. They operated deep behind the German lines, often driving hundreds of miles through the deserts of North Africa. They hid by day and struck by night, destroying aircraft, blowing up ammunition dumps, derailing trains, and killing many times their own number.

    Alec says: "Makes you feel like you're there"
    "I couldn't stop listening..."
    Overall

    The recording isn't perfect because and a couple of times it sounds as though they've re-recorded a couple of words then dubbed them over.
    However despite this its still a really good book and I highly recommend it. I recently read "Patton, Montgomery, Rommel" and this book helped flesh out the African aspects of that book.
    It seems a very candid account, and not cut down like many SAS books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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