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  • A Tour of the Calculus

  • By: David Berlinski
  • Narrated by: Dennis Holland
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 45
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 43

Were it not for the calculus, mathematicians would have no way to describe the acceleration of a motorcycle or the effect of gravity on thrown balls and distant planets, or to prove that a man could cross a room and eventually touch the opposite wall. Just how calculus makes these things possible and in doing so finds a correspondence between real numbers and the real world is the subject of this dazzling book by a writer of extraordinary clarity and stylistic brio.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Top Poet among Mathemeticians

  • By Kindle Customer on 05-27-14

Top Poet among Mathemeticians

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-27-14

First of all: As long as this book says it is narrated by Dennis Holland, don't waste your money or credit.The narrator has NO concept of how to read mathematical formulae, and, thus, the book was confusing at best. It took me a few instances where the narrator spoke of "two-x" to realize that he should be reading it as "x-squared" or "x to the second power". I find it hard to believe that an author would allow a narrator to so completely destroy his text; I further find it hard to believe that anyone educated would fail to understand the difference between 2x and x-squared. Come on, guys. It's an audiobook - the spoken language is all we have here. It needs to be precise, particularly in mathematics. I stopped listening out of frustration after only a couple of hours.

As for the book, the language is quite flowery. Perhaps if I could have persisted in listening to the book further, the language would have grown on me, but, alas, it just seems to be too much window-dressing for the subject. The analogies did not illumine the primary subject, but seemed stretched to give the illusion of literary skill.

I had high hopes for an interesting history of the calculus, but found only frustration.

42 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Twenty-Five Books That Shaped America

  • By: Thomas C. Foster
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

From the author of the New York Times best-selling How to Read Literature Like a Professor comes a highly entertaining and informative new book on the 25 works of literature that have most shaped the American character. Foster applies his much-loved combination of wit, know-how, and analysis to explain how each work has shaped our very existence as readers, students, teachers, and Americans.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An book that will inspire you to others.

  • By Kindle Customer on 02-13-13

An book that will inspire you to others.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-13-13

The author presents his current list of twenty-five books that shaped America. While anyone's list would differ, the discussion of the books he did choose, along with his reasons for their inclusion, introduced me to authors and works that were not included in my past reading lists. I have, due in large part to his recommendations, begun to add them to my literary repertoire. Mr. Foster provides a great service in this work.

Highly recommended for any age level - junior-high or above - although the detail of his survey of these works might be used as a "Cliff's Notes"-lite by students who may need to report on these works in school. Remember kids - plagiarism is bad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Euclid's Window

  • The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace
  • By: Leonard Mlodinow
  • Narrated by: Robert Blumenfeld
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 455
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 299
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 300

Through Euclid's Window Leonard Mlodinow brilliantly and delightfully leads us on a journey through five revolutions in geometry, from the Greek concept of parallel lines to the latest notions of hyperspace. Here is an altogether new, refreshing, alternative history of math revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space -- in the living room or in some other galaxy -- have been the hidden engine of the highest achievements in science and technology.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!

  • By Eric on 08-13-10

A thoroughly entertaining survey of geometry.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-13-13

What did you love best about Euclid's Window?

The author accomplishes a masterful survey of geometry from the beginning of time until today. I know, you are already yawning; that is probably because your high school geometry teacher was like mine. The level of detail was a perfect amalgam of accuracy and clarity. The historical characters he introduces throughout have more dimensions than just their mathematical prowess. These people, like his examples, are multi-dimensional and, in general, quite relevant.

A good book for the student (high-school or above) or adult who merely wants a better understanding of the geometry that permeates our experience.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • It's Not Rocket Science

  • By: Ben Miller
  • Narrated by: Ben Miller
  • Length: 6 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

Black holes. DNA. The Large Hadron Collider. Ever had that sneaking feeling that you are missing out on some truly spectacular science? You do? Well fear not, for help is at hand. Ben Miller was working on his Physics PhD at Cambridge when he accidentally became a comedian. But first love runs deep, and he has returned to his roots, to share with you all his favourite bits of science. This is the stuff that you really need to know, not only because it matters, but because it will quite simply amaze and delight you.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining

  • By Ingwe on 04-03-13

Nice Survey

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-12

What made the experience of listening to It's Not Rocket Science the most enjoyable?

The humour and foundations that the author demonstrates are very nice. While I might dispute some of his "indisputable" assumptions, it was an entertaining listen.

Any additional comments?

errata - He cites that Einstein published General Relativity in 1905. He actually published Special Relativity that year; it took 21 more years to produce GR.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Freedom of Simplicity

  • Finding Harmony in a Complex World
  • By: Richard J. Foster
  • Narrated by: Lloyd James
  • Length: 8 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Written in the same warm, accessible style as Richard Foster's best-selling Celebration of Discipline, Freedom of Simplicity articulates a creative, more human style of living and points the way for Christians to make their lives "models of simplicity."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Challenging and provoking

  • By Kindle Customer on 05-27-09

Challenging and provoking

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-27-09

In this book, Foster challenges us to view ourselves and our stuff from God's perspective - His people and His stuff. In calling us to the freedom from protecting our possessions, he leads us to live our lives with an open hand.

He remains ecumenical in his sourcing for this work, much like Celebration of Discpline. Even in this, his "Quaker-ness" comes through, with the beauty of Jesus as teacher.

A worthy read, and the narrator does a superb job in creating the illusion that the words are his. The hours of listening are much like having a deep, extended conversation with a trusted friend rather than a stilted lecture from a professor.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Worlds at War

  • The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West
  • By: Anthony Pagden
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 501
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 266
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 263

In the tradition of Jared Diamond and Jacques Barzun, prize-winning historian Anthony Pagden presents a sweeping history of the long struggle between East and West, from the Greeks to the present day.

The relationship between East and West has always been one of turmoil. In this historical tour de force, a renowned historian leads us from the world of classical antiquity, through the Dark Ages, to the Crusades, Europe's resurgence, and the dominance of the Ottoman Empire, which almost shattered Europe entirely. Pagden travels from Napoleon in Egypt to Europe's carving up of the finally moribund Ottomans - creating the modern Middle East along the way - and on to the present struggles in Iraq.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great story, with a lot of unfamiliar names

  • By Tad Davis on 07-02-08

Good history

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-28-09

Well-read audiobook. The place names are often difficult because of their relative obscurity to our current history texts. In many cases, further study must start with a Web-search for the persons mentioned to discover the spelling of the places mentioned.

The major downside of this book is the author's militant secular viewpoint. The thesis of the book seems to contain only the factious and warlike nature of religion throughout history, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim. As this is a book on conflict between the East and West, that would be understandable if it stopped there. The author however, through frequent asides and careful choice of adjectives, displays his disdain for Christianity and Islam. As this is a scholarly work, the bias may be founded in his academia, but it is, nonetheless, a clear and ubiquitous bias.

Probably not a good read for high-schoolers or younger.

35 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • 13 Things That Don't Make Sense

  • The Most Baffling Scientific Mysteries of Our Time
  • By: Michael Brooks
  • Narrated by: James Adams
  • Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,447
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,462
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,464

Science starts to get interesting when things don't make sense. Science's best-kept secret is that there are experimental results and reliable data that the most brilliant scientists can neither explain nor dismiss. If history is any precedent, we should look to today's inexplicable results to forecast the future of science. Michael Brooks heads to the scientific frontier to meet 13 modern-day anomalies and discover tomorrow's breakthroughs.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 10 interesting chapters-read epiloge first

  • By Stephen on 06-10-09

Good, Fair Assessment

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-28-09

The author plays a very fair hand, dealing with the current mysteries of science. The insights assume some level of knowledge, but sufficient background is given for a high-schooler to gain some appreciation of the quandaries.

The narrator is very easy to listen to. I have listened to the entire book twice because I have enjoyed the material.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful