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San Diego, CA, USA

  • 6 reviews
  • 55 ratings
  • 137 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • The Metaphysical Club

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Louis Menand
    • Narrated By Henry Leyva

    Hardly a club in the conventional sense, the organization referred to in the title of this superb literary hybrid (part history, part biography, part philosophy) consisted of four members and probably existed for less than nine months.

    Victoria says: "The Great American Experiment"
    "A dissenter"

    Most people loved this book. I did not. Here is why:

    1) You need a ton of background knowledge
    I was born outside america so most names did not mean much to me when I started the book. The book is clearly intended for somebody already familiar with the characters.

    2) Narrator gets annoying
    The tone of the narrator gets old. Repeats inflictions way too often, I would say every 4 sentences or so. I never finshed the book, when by error my MUVO would start playing it, I would get this very quick negative reaction, almost a pavlovian response to this guy's tone!

    3) It is hard to follow
    Within each chapter, it is never clear exactly where the author is going. That may work better on the print version, but when you have only partial attention dedicated to the book (i.e. commuting) it is just not good enough.

    In sum, if you think you will enjoy this book, I would suggest you read it, the audio vesion has an annoying narrator and it is hard to follow.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Kathleen Dalton
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren

    Esteemed Harvard University historian and Associate Fellow Kathleen Dalton has been studying Theodore Roosevelt since 1975. This authoritative work, incorporating the latest scholarship, paints a compelling portrait of the president in all his robust glory.

    Uri says: "Informative, entertaining and well read"
    "Informative, entertaining and well read"

    I was hesitant of getting such a long audiobook.

    With the exception of the first 3 or so hours, which discusses TR's childhood with unnecessary detail, the book is extraordinary. Covering his personal and professional life, his internal contradiction, and his bigger than life persona.

    I am amazed that after 20+ hours I do not dread listening to the reader, she is very good.

    If you are interested in learning about arguably the most interesting president of the USA, I would think this book is as good as any and it is very pleasently read.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Search: How Google & Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business & Transformed Our Culture

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By John Battelle
    • Narrated By John Battelle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    What does the world want? According to John Battelle, a company that answers that question can unlock the most intractable riddles of both business and culture. And for the past few years, that's exactly what Google has been doing.

    T. Goss says: "Trevor Goss"
    "Low content/length ratio. Poorly read (by author)"

    There are some nuggets of interesting info. in the book, but they are not worth the endless blah blah blah.

    The contents of the book would make for a good 1-2 hour presentation (as long as somebody else reads it!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael Pollan
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    "What should we have for dinner?" To one degree or another, this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance.

    MCRedding says: "Great presentation of a moral dilemma"
    "OUtstanding book, very well read"

    Since nobody seems to dispute the quality of the book itself, I just want to say that for my taste the book was read very well.
    No excessive dramatism. I have heard over 12 audiobooks and the reader is definietly the best or 2nd best reader I have encountered.
    You can always take a listen to the sample, but the book is extraordinary, don't let the taste of a few listeners prevent you from listening to this brilliant book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

    • ABRIDGED (11 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Charles C. Mann
    • Narrated By Peter Johnson

    In this riveting, accessible work of science, Charles Mann takes us on an enthralling journey of scientific exploration. We learn that the Indian development of modern corn was one of the most complex feats of genetic engineering ever performed. That the Great Plains are a third smaller today than they were in 1700 because the Indians who maintained them by burning died. And that the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.

    Case says: "Hotly debated new theories, but NOT revisionism"
    "Fun, but is it true?"

    The book is enjoyable and interesting.

    It is very poorly organized, jumps around a lot.

    My main criticism, however, is that the author narrates for a long time about a given theory (e.g. that the flora in the Amazon basin was heavily influenced by pre-Colombian human presence) only to then say, that this may not be true after all, that just a few scientists (how respected? what do the leaders of the field think?) who believe so and many oppose them. As a reader you are not given the tools to choose for yourself, since seldom is the evidence that both sides of the debate interpret differently presented.

    The problem is that later on is hard to remember if what you heard is a fact, a possibility, or something that only a couple of lunatics believe

    It is hence a dangerous book to read, if you really want to learn, rather than just be entertained.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Shaping Justice: Landmark Cases of the U.S. Supreme Court [Portable Professor]

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Kermit L. Hall
    • Narrated By Kermit L. Hall

    While the U.S. Constitution is the framework for governing the nation, the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of how this framework is implemented. The Supreme Court's crucial interpretation of the relationship between legal doctrine and social change is at the heart of this university-level course. By examining landmark Supreme Court cases that changed contemporary views of the law, Kermit L. Hall examines the essential role of this powerful institution in American life.

    Christopher says: "This... uh... was pretty... uh informative"

    This is my third audiobook in the "portable professor" (what a terrible brand name!) series and by far the best (the others were "6-months that changed the world" (also very good) and "To rule mankind" (not so good)).

    First of all, I should say that I just cannot see why one reviewer complaiend about the uuuh, and hmmm, they were not excessive AT ALL. It is a very well narrated set of lectures.

    The professor is very organized, each lecture follows the same schema making it very easy to follow. He presents the right amount of background, and nicely summarizes both the arguments and the opinions of the majority and minority. Most importantly, he sets each case in the historical context, which is of course very important.

    I give it 4 and not 5 stars because I felt the lectures lacked a more in-depth discussion of how current affairs are directly influenced by the decisions in the past. He does mention some implications, but in rather loose terms. It would be interesting to have an idea of how long does a ruling really matter.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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