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  • 8
  • reviews
  • 31
  • helpful votes
  • 63
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  • Twain’s Feast

  • By: Audible Originals
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman
  • Length: 4 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,448
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,017
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,989

Mark Twain, beloved American writer, performer, and humorist, was a self-proclaimed glutton. With the help of a chef and some friends, Nick Offerman presents the story of Twain’s life through the lens of eight of Mark Twain’s favorite foods.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Audible Recycling

  • By Greg Hill on 11-17-18

Confusing and Not about Twain's Feast

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

Reviewed: 11-10-18

I was expecting an entertaining book about the life of Mark Twain viewed through the lense of some of his favorite dishes. I understand the book being critical of Mark Twain for racism etc. However this book is 20% about Mark Twain and the meal and 80% about environmentalism... That book is fine. But I dislike the bait and switch. Also this isn't so much a book as more of a podcast with clips and very confusing narration.... again fine gormat but not what I come to audible for...

22 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue

  • The Untold History of English
  • By: John McWhorter
  • Narrated by: John McWhorter
  • Length: 5 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,705
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 2,276
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,254

A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great for casual linguists

  • By Anderson on 01-11-10

Interesting book - Could be shorter

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

Reviewed: 05-04-17

This book was pretty interesting and gives a fascinating history of how English may have come about to this current form. It is interesting because the language makes up so much of our lives yet we give so little thoughts to how it came about.

The author seems extremely authoritative and well versed in the subject area. I did wish he focused less on winning linguistic arguments (honestly I believed him the first time) and provided more fun facts (there were a bunch but I am sure he knows more). As a result, the book seemed long in making its points. The fact the author narrated the book was kind of fun, although the first the Chinese pronunciations seemed really off...

Overall pretty fun listen.

Sapiens audiobook cover art
  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,716
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,767
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,676

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sums it up nicely

  • By Mark on 05-15-15

Interesting View Point - Lots of Spectulation

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

Reviewed: 05-02-17

Sapiens is a really interest read regarding the history of humans. However, the book lacks in detailed sourcing and supporting arguments/data. The ideas are fascinating, but the author presents them as truth when based on other readings they are more like one set of theories.

  • The Reluctant Mr. Darwin

  • Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution
  • By: David Quammen
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104

In September 1838, a young Englishman named Charles Darwin hit upon the idea that "natural selection" among competing individuals would lead to wondrous adaptations and species diversity. Twenty-one years passed between that epiphany and publication of On the Origin of Species. The human drama and scientific controversy of that time constitute a fascinating, tangled tale that illuminates this cautious naturalist who sparked an intellectual revolution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Darwin portrait.

  • By J B Tipton on 11-06-07

Must Read

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

I love this book.

Too often in school we learn about scientific principles and scientists without any historic context. It seems like they are geniuses who can not be touched and once those theories come into being, they are put on a pedestal and can not be modified. If something is in a text book it must be true!

This book put Charles Darwin and Natural Selection in context. The book makes Charles Darwin feels all too human and explains why Natural Selection is so incendiary.

I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in science or history.

David Quammen is a great writer and he tells an amazing story.

  • Sacred Cows

  • A Lighthearted Look at Belief and Tradition Around the World
  • By: Seth Andrews
  • Narrated by: Seth Andrews
  • Length: 5 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 591
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 542
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 539

Well into the 21st century, our species continues to participate in beliefs and customs that seem more suited to the Bronze Age than the Information Age, some of which involve poisonous snakes, holy smoke, urine bubbles, crystals, tarot cards, aliens, costumed virgins, and, of course, an offering plate. Join Seth Andrews for a random romp across the planet and a humorous look at some of humanity's Sacred Cows.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Seth is changing the world!

  • By Aperson on 07-19-15

Read something else

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

I really did not enjoy this book. It started with effectively a 15 minute introduction filler section. The stories themselves are like a bunch of tabloid sensational stories with very little research and not much context. Maybe I am too used to boring books but this isn't worth the money.

The author does have a great voice.

  • Spillover

  • By: David Quammen
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Yen
  • Length: 20 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 637
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 570
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 574

The emergence of strange new diseases is a frightening problem that seems to be getting worse. In this age of speedy travel, it threatens a worldwide pandemic. We hear news reports of Ebola, SARS, AIDS, and something called Hendra killing horses and people in Australia - but those reports miss the big truth that such phenomena are part of a single pattern. The bugs that transmit these diseases share one thing: they originate in wild animals and pass to humans by a process called spillover. David Quammen tracks this subject around the world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good story with a few slow moments

  • By Amazon Customer on 05-11-14

Surprisingly Good Listen

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

Reviewed: 11-12-14

Spillover covers Zoonosis, or the process where a disease move from an animal to humans. This book covers a broad range of zoonosis including SARS, Ebola, AIDS, lyme, influenza including the history of each disease in humans.

The topic seemed like it would be scary, overwhelming, or both. Instead the pace of the book is quick with many interesting interwoven stories. I really enjoyed the getting the historical context of each disease's discovery, making you feel like you were right there seeing it happen.

The content is informative and unbiased, giving many insights about the various diseases. At times, the author takes a big picture view while including enough details to make you care about the researchers, patients, animals, and general public. It tells you why the diseases matter without scaring you about the future of mankind.

Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Five Came Back

  • A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War
  • By: Mark Harris
  • Narrated by: Andrew Garman
  • Length: 20 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 212
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 211

It was the best of times and the worst of times for Hollywood before the war. The box office was booming, and the studios’ control of talent and distribution was as airtight as could be hoped. But the industry’s relationship with Washington was decidedly uneasy - hearings and investigations into allegations of corruption and racketeering were multiplying, and hanging in the air was the insinuation that the business was too foreign, too Jewish, too "un-American" in its values and causes. Could an industry this powerful in shaping America’s mind-set really be left in the hands of this crew?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Had a lot of fun with this book!

  • By Detail-oriented on 08-11-14

Surprisingly Boring

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

Reviewed: 07-03-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The book contains a lot of interest facts. However by choosing to follow 5 directors simultaneously, the story telling felt fragmented. I had trouble keeping track of which director did what, when. Also since each director experienced different series of failure and success at different times and took away different lessons from the war, the story did not built up to any sense of suspense. Felt more like a text book than most historical non-fiction I read. A set of interesting facts presented by a good narrator, but oddly boring for the subject matter: Hollywood and WWII.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Third Chimpanzee

  • The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal
  • By: Jared Diamond
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 15 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 871
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 754
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 753

We human beings share 98 percent of our genes with chimpanzees. Yet humans are the dominant species on the planet - having founded civilizations and religions, developed intricate and diverse forms of communication, learned science, built cities, and created breathtaking works of art - while chimps remain animals concerned primarily with the basic necessities of survival. What is it about that two percent difference in DNA that has created such a divergence between evolutionary cousins?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Up to the usual high standard

  • By Mark on 09-04-12

Jumping too quickly to conclusions

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

Reviewed: 11-02-12

I was really interested in reading/listening to a book about how evolutionary biology explains current human behavior... I think this book does address the topic but I wished it organized the supporting data more clearly and was less glib about the conclusions reached.

It is clear the author is well versed in the topic. However his extrapolations seemed rather extreme at times - in one case going from an example of a friend he has to a statement regarding general mate selection preference for all humans...

It could be that his general conclusions are well supported in other studies he did not cite or cited elsewhere in the book, but the way the material is presented made the conclusions seem very capricious… As a result, reading the book feels very uncomfortable as I feel a lot of facts are missing...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful