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rwise

Deer Park, TX | Member Since 2002

119
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 360 ratings
  • 806 titles in library
  • 37 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, August 27, 1883

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (527)
    Performance
    (191)
    Story
    (194)

    The legendary annihilation in 1883 of the volcano-island of Krakatoa (the name has since become a by-word for a cataclysmic disaster) was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly 40,000 people. Beyond the purely physical horrors of an event which has only very recently become properly understood, the eruption changed the world in more ways than could possibly be imagined. Dust swirled round the world for years, causing temperatures to plummet and sunsets to turn vivid.

    rwise says: "Great subject, great writing, great voice"
    "Great subject, great writing, great voice"
    Overall

    About a month ago I requested this title from audible and was very excited to find it available now. The author is a geologist and writes in a very pleasant style, easy to follow and very unique. Interesting facts about the catastrophe itself but also about the world, the technology and the people of 1883 are connected and very well projected. I admire the author for his reading skills. Often I find that authors should not read their own books and leave that task to the professional actors, in this case though, I enjoyed it very much. He has an excellent voice, and since he describes a few personal encounters, it is very delightful that he reads those to the listener himself. If people don't like this book, they may expect something else than this first class science report. It is not a love story, nor an imaginary tale. If you read scientific american, enjoy good writing and a new voice to read to you, you will enjoy this book.

    29 of 29 people found this review helpful
  • Psychology, Second Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 12 mins)
    • By Saundra K. Ciccarelli
    • Narrated By Daniel Baker
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Praised for a very engaging writing style, comprehensive coverage of key research, and strong pedagogical features, Ciccarelli focuses on getting students to actually listen to their textbook. Using the recommended APA undergraduate psychology learning outcomes, the author establishes clear learning objectives for students and ties the text assessment to these objectives.

    Bikram says: "bad"
    "Excellent content, presentation excellent"
    Overall

    I don't share the opinions of the listeners, who found that the actor is reading too fast. After reading their comments I decided to listen to the audiobook in double speed (iPhone), so I could go back to regular speed, if necessary, and I never had to do that. I enjoyed the whole audio book, it's concise, lively written, and well read.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The World Without Us

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Alan Weisman
    • Narrated By Adam Grupper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (491)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (112)

    In this far-reaching narrative, Weisman explains how our massive infrastructure would collapse and vanish without human presence; which everyday items may become immortalized as fossils; why some of our earliest buildings might be the last architecture left; and how plastic, bronze sculpture, and man-made molecules may be our lasting gifts to the universe.

    Chris says: "mixed feelings"
    "Wrong Title"
    Overall

    This is not a good book. Except for the first part this is NOT about a world without us, but about the world with us. The author lists many ecological sins of humans, but not a lot more about the original subject. He is a pessimist, even quotes organizations with implied approval that promote abortion, sodomy and canibalism (sic!) to wipe humans of the earth. Like many pessimists he views himself as a realist and forgets that history has been full of pessimists that have been proven wrong. Every generation has been thinking it was the last. A more appropriate title would have been "Pessimism - a dark view of the future", but that of course would not have sold. Mr. Weisman, just because you are a pessimist, you should not promote your dim views to the next generation.

    9 of 39 people found this review helpful
  • How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Thomas E. Woods
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (203)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (55)

    Western civilization has given us modern science, the wealth of free-market economics, the security of law, a sense of human rights and freedom, charity as a virtue, splendid art and music, philosophy grounded in reason, and innumerable other gifts we take for granted.

    Michael Kellogg says: "Fascinating and informative"
    "Interesting facts"
    Overall

    This book has been written by a professor of economics who works for a liberal think tank. He must be catholic, why else would he write such a book? It is a good book with interesting facts about the jesuits and other catholic/christian icons. I wonder though, if people with not at least a friendly relationship to catholicism will like it.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Churchill

    • UNABRIDGED (37 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roy Jenkins
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (513)
    Performance
    (186)
    Story
    (189)

    In this magisterial book, Roy Jenkins' unparalleled command of the political history of Britain and his own high-level government experience combine in a narrative account of Churchill's astounding career that is unmatched in its shrewd insights, its unforgettable anecdotes, the clarity of its overarching themes, and the author's nuanced appreciation of his extraordinary subject.

    Karen says: "Best of British Political Soap Opera"
    "A great book for a great man"
    Overall

    This book is long, but not too long. I enjoyed particularly the description of his early life. The writing is interesting, and it's read in a lively voice. But then, how could Churchill's life not be interesting.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Worst Journey in the World

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Apsley Cherry-Garrard
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (179)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (57)

    This gripping story of courage and achievement is the account of Robert Falcon Scott's last fateful expedition to the Antarctic, as told by surviving expedition member Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Cherry-Garrard, whom Scott lauded as a tough, efficient member of the team, tells of the journey from England to South Africa and southward to the ice floes. From there began the unforgettable polar journey across a forbidding and inhospitable region.

    A. Massey says: "What a story!"
    "Chronicle of cold, cold death"
    Overall

    The author was a sidekick in Scott's expedition and the worst journey in the world is not the one that results in Scott's frozen body, but is a "field trip" to steal penguin eggs. Nonetheless an interesting book. I like primary sources and this certainly is one. He writes interestingly and even though the scenery is always the cold, chilling antarctic I never got bored. Recommended for all those interested in arctic travel.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Simon Winchester
    • Narrated By Simon Winchester
    Overall
    (322)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (143)

    In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell, clear across England and clear across the world.

    reggie p says: "Geology made interesting"
    "Interesting read, but why not metric?"
    Overall

    Like the other books from Simon Winchester this book is pleasant, not least because the author reads his books himself. Even though this is a narrative rather than a scientific book I wish he would switch to the metric system instead of referring to feet, inches, pounds and ounces. As a science author he should not support the obsolete empirical system. Today only the United States, Liberia, and Myanmar continue to not use the metric system.

    3 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • The Historian

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Kostova
    • Narrated By Joanne Whalley, Dennis Boutsikaris, Rosalyn Landor, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2820)
    Performance
    (1170)
    Story
    (1183)

    Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

    Branden says: "Phenomenallly detailed..."
    "New angle of an old story - good fiction"
    Overall

    When I bought this book I was very sceptical. The story of Dracula has been told and re-told, filmed and re-filmed over and over. What would be left to tell? Well, this book for instance. It tells the old bloodsucker's story in a more modern content and with well developed characters. Even the character of Dracula becomes more complex and interesting than the well-known movie vampire. The alternation of readers/actors between a male and female voice makes it a way better than average listening experience. Even though it is a rather long book it never becomes boring. I will try to read more books from the author.

    41 of 43 people found this review helpful
  • The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, The First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Richard Zacks
    • Narrated By Raymond Todd
    Overall
    (380)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (108)

    After Tripoli declared war on the United States in 1801, Barbary pirates captured 300 U.S. sailors and marines. President Jefferson sent navy squadrons to the Mediterranean, but he also authorized a secret mission to overthrow the government of Tripoli. He chose an unlikely diplomat, William Eaton, to lead the mission, but before Eaton departed, Jefferson grew wary of the affair and withdrew his support.

    Stewart Kennedy says: "EXCELLENT"
    "A hero, a war with muslims, a slick president"
    Overall

    Richard Zack's second book about pirates and piracies, "The Pirate Hunter" being the first, is an excellent read. In command of the most fitting language he sets a standard for historical writing. His recollection of an almost forgotten historic affair is breathtaking. All of his conclusions are backed up by primary sources, which he quotes frequently. Among the surprising facts is not only that America forgot a truly unforgettable hero in William Eaton, but also that the conflict with the Muslim culture of slavery and piracy is not new. Thomas Jefferson's role in the aftermath of the described incident is surprisingly shameful and eerily modern and the author deserves much praise to identify and prove the president's conflict between political interests and moral, short-term and long-term interests. If the Tripoli incident had been backed up by Hamilton and finished by Eaton as planned - maybe we would not have the problems we have today. This book will be a classic and serve for many years as a source that determines the roots and reasons of conflict between Muslims and Americans. The narrator, Raymond Todd, does his job well. Even though the first chapter is read rather amateurishly, where he lowers the voice at the end of each sentence in a boring, unappealing fashion, he becomes much livelier towards the end. It is though not the task of the voice actor, but of the editor or producer to ensure this type of issue. I am looking forward to listen to more books read by Mr. Todd and authored by Mr. Zack.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
    • Narrated By Peter Seewald
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    This is a rare and powerful in-depth interview of a renowned theologian and high-ranking Vatican official issues of critical importance for the Church and Christianity at the end of an age.

    Emilie Moynihan says: "Terrific Book."
    "Catholic Theology in a Nutshell"
    Overall

    Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger has been the intellectual head of the catholic church for more than 20 years, but had a strong influence since Vatican II. In this book he elaborates an all difficult questions that face the church, avoiding none. The result is a compelling, honest and quite entertaining book that leaves the listener smart, educated about formal theology and hungry for more. Ratzinger is for theology what Churchill was for history. A shaper of present and future whose eloquence is unmatched. Not only did he become pope by now, he could get the nobel prize of literature for his writings. Unfortunately it is so far the only book by Ratzinger at audible.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Prisoner of the Vatican: The Popes' Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the New Italian State

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By David I. Kertzer
    • Narrated By Alan Sklar
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Based on a wealth of documents long buried in the Vatican archives, Prisoner of the Vatican tells the story of the Church's secret attempt to block the unification of Italy and seize control, not in ancient times, but in the late 19th century. For more than 50 years, the pope was a self-imposed prisoner within the Vatican walls, planning to flee Italy, to return only as the restored ruler of Rome and the Papal States.

    Simone says: "A Slice of Italian History"
    "Excellent book, odd publisher's summary"
    Overall

    The book describes the history of Rome in the 19th century when the independent papal state of Rome was seized during the formation of the new Italian national state. The story is not about "The Popes' Secret Plot to Capture Rome from the New Italian State" as the publisher (or probably a semi-literate summer intern at the publishing house, who never read the book) thought to summarize this book, but more about the difficulties of the papal state and its souvereign, the pope, after Italian, national forces had seized it. The history is very well researched and explained, and the author holds a healthy distance towards its main characters and uses only original sources. I do recommend this book for people that are interested in catholic, papal, Italian or European history. Very well read.

    13 of 20 people found this review helpful

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