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OpenMindedNotCredulous

California, USA
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 132
  • helpful votes
  • 829
  • ratings
  • Caesar's Last Breath

  • Decoding the Secrets of the Air Around Us
  • By: Sam Kean
  • Narrated by: Ben Sullivan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 974
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 891
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 886

The fascinating science and history of the air we breathe. It's invisible. It's ever present. Without it, you would die in minutes. And it has an epic story to tell. In Caesar's Last Breath, New York Times best-selling author Sam Kean takes us on a journey through the periodic table, around the globe, and across time to tell the story of the air we breathe, which, it turns out, is also the story of earth and our existence on it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • vastly entertaining

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-11-17

Listen even if you hate science and math

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

Reviewed: 02-21-18

Whether you love science and math or those subjects stress you out you'll love this book. Whichever group you are in this is a book that you'll probably want to listen to more than once. You'll probably learn something new each time your read (or listen) to it.

It reminded me a little bit of James Burkes "Connections" TV series. The author does a great job of making the science understandable to everyone. Most notably by using examples and analogies that most people can identify with. And like "Connections" it explains how each discovery made another discovery or invention possible. Usually in ways that could not have been predicted.

What little math is present is mostly of the form "you inhaled three trillion atoms of nitrogen". So if you have even a vague idea what terms like "trillion" and "million" mean you'll be fine. It tells absolutely fascinating stories about how we've come to know so much about the air around us. Not to mention how that knowledge has improved our lives.

  • The Last Season

  • By: Eric Blehm
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,942
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,769
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,773

Destined to become a classic of adventure literature, The Last Season examines the extraordinary life of legendary backcountry ranger Randy Morgenson and his mysterious disappearance in California's unforgiving Sierra Nevada - mountains as perilous as they are beautiful. Eric Blehm's masterful work is a gripping detective story interwoven with the riveting biography of a complicated, original, and wholly fascinating man.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Well Written Character Study of an NPS Ranger

  • By Kathy on 06-23-16

Weaves the protagonists life with the denouement

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

Reviewed: 06-14-17

I was impressed with how well the author weaved the protagonists life with the events at the end of that life. You are left feeling like you personally knew the protagonist. Even more impressive was how well the author left you wondering whether the protagonist committed suicide or had a fatal accident to the very end of the story. Without the mystery feeling like artifice due to withholding key facts about the events. The author also did an excellent job making it clear when the dialog was based on documents or first person memories versus reconstructed from more tenuous sources.

  • The Rookie: Book 1

  • Galactic Football League
  • By: Scott Sigler
  • Narrated by: Scott Sigler
  • Length: 14 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 593
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 553
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 551

Set in a lethal pro football league 700 years in the future, The Rookie is a story that combines the intense gridiron action of Any Given Sunday with the space opera style of Star Wars and the criminal underworld of The Godfather. Aliens and humans alike play positions based on physiology, creating receivers that jump 25 feet into the air, linemen that bench-press 1,200 pounds, and linebackers that literally want to eat you. Organized crime runs every franchise, games are fixed, and rival players are assassinated.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding Book

  • By Big Daddy JMC on 12-07-14

You don't follow sports? You'll still like this.

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

Reviewed: 04-29-16

I do not follow sports. I dislike American football (despite playing it two years as a teenager). I don't understand why people read the newspaper sports page. I still recommend you listen to this book. I admit the first chapter had me wondering if I made a mistake purchasing this audiobook. Then I realized that not only did I not need to pay attention to the details vis-a-vis football minutiae but ignoring it allowed me to appreciate the broader story. And that story is classic Scott Sigler. If you're a sports fan who knows what a "argle bargle pass long" play means you're likely to rate this even higher than I did.

The production values are the best of any audiobook I've listened to (more than 700 as I type this) till now. It's usually a mistake for an author to read their prose. Scott Sigler is the exception to the rule. Not to mention the background sounds help you feel you're actually at the events being described. Now that I've listened to the book I would have been happy to pay full list price.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Martian

  • By: Andy Weir
  • Narrated by: R. C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 157,797
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 145,616
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 145,461

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 plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Worth it even if you've seen the movie

  • By R. MCRACKAN on 12-08-17

a story which tries hard to get the science right

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

Reviewed: 03-10-14

As a geek I loved that the author doesn't resort to a deus ex machina. Yes, there are lucky breaks. But throughout the story the author uses actual science to explain how the protagonist manages to survive on Mars. Even if you're not a science geek you should read this book. You don't even have to know what hydrogen or a liter is. The science doesn't get in the way of the story but will give you a sense for why science is important even to your life on Earth.

  • Divine Misfortune

  • By: A. Lee Martinez
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 846
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 742
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 748

Teri and Phil had never needed their own personal god. But when Phil is passed up for a promotion - again - it's time to take matters into their own hands. And look online. Choosing a god isn't as simple as you would think. There are too many choices; and they often have very hefty prices for their eternal devotion: blood, money, sacrifices, and vows of chastity. But then they find Luka, raccoon god of prosperity. All he wants is a small cut of their good fortune. Oh - and to crash on their couch for a few days.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gods Gone Wild

  • By Tango on 12-08-13

Absurdist comedy exploring what if gods were real

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

Reviewed: 01-15-14

I haven't had this much fun listening to fiction in a long time. As other reviewers have noted this will be most appealing to atheists and theists who are willing to entertain the idea that their religion may not be the only "truth". What I didn't see mentioned by others is the superb narration. Not only does each character have a distinct voice in many cases it's hard to imagine the character speaking any other way. I found this especially true for the main god, Lucky, as well most of the other characters (although this didn't extend to the main mortal protagonists Terry and Phil).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Paddle Your Own Canoe

  • One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living
  • By: Nick Offerman
  • Narrated by: Nick Offerman
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,636
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,938
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,883

Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman - who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking - he runs his own woodshop - Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman's childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois, to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Like bacon for your ears

  • By Kyle on 01-03-14

On the need to acknowledge the role luck plays

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

Reviewed: 11-17-13

I don't think I've ever laughed so much listening to a book. Admittedly I'm in the ideal demographic for this book: a middle age male who enjoys living life with gusto, eating and drinking heartily, and working with wood. Still, I suspect that anyone who enjoys the TV show "Parks and Recreation" will enjoy this book. This is essentially an autobiography but with a lot of wit, wry humor and frequent acknowledgement that he's been lucky. It leaves no doubt that Nick is someone you'd be happy to call a friend.

Warning: If you're a fundamentalist christian you're likely to be offended by his observations regarding religion in the early part of the book. But if you're an atheist or at least religiously liberal you'll enjoy those parts as much as everything else he has to say.

69 of 75 people found this review helpful

  • The Fox Effect

  • How Roger Ailes Turned a Network into a Propaganda Machine
  • By: David Brock, Ari Rabin-Havt, Media Matters for America
  • Narrated by: Bob Dunsworth
  • Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 58

The Fox Effect follows the career of Ailes from his early work as a television producer and media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. Consequently, when he was hired in 1996 as the president of Rupert Murdoch’s flagship conservative cable news network, Ailes had little journalism experience, but brought to the job the mindset of a political operative. As Brock and Rabin-Havt demonstrate through numerous examples, Ailes used his extraordinary power and influence to spread a partisan political agenda....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fox news lack of journalistic integrity clarified

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-06-16

I thought I knew how awful FOX news was

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

Reviewed: 07-08-13

If only FOX news was as "fair and balanced" as this book. If you really care about a "fair and balanced" presentation of the facts you must read to this book. I don't expect anyone to change their opinion about the best way to spend our tax dollars or what societal goals are desirable as a result of reading this book. But do read this book so you will realize the FOX has an agenda that has nothing to do with being fair and balanced in their presentation of the facts.

I listen to NPR and BBC news every day. I read Glenn Greenwald and other progressive bloggers such as The Rude Pundit. But I also regularly read other conservatives such as David Brooks, Peggy Noonan and Charles Krauthammer. I was already aware of the study which showed that people who primarily got their news from FOX were significantly more likely to believe bogus "facts" (e.g., about Iraq and WMDs). So I thought I knew how much FOX news skewed reality for their audience. This book made me realize the situation is far worse than I knew.

  • The War After Armageddon

  • By: Ralph Peters
  • Narrated by: Michael Warner
  • Length: 11 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 223
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 98
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 97

Shocking scenes of battle, unforgettable soldiers, heartbreaking betrayals. In this stunning, fast-paced novel, a ruthless future war unfolds in a 21st century nightmare: Los Angeles is a radioactive ruin; Europe lies bleeding; and Israel has been destroyed with millions slaughtered. A furious America fights to reclaim the devastated Holy Land. The Marines storm ashore; the U.S. Army does battle in a Biblical landscape.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not an easy listen, but well worth it

  • By Mike From Mesa on 07-01-10

Forget Freddy Krueger

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-11

If you like nightmares don't bother with Freddy Krueger ("A Nightmare on Elm Street "). Instead listen this tale of religious fanatics doing their best to drag the world back to the dark ages. The first couple of minutes left me wondering if I had bought a story that was going to extoll the virtues of religion. But as the story unfolds you realize that the devoutly religious are not the heroes. If this book doesn't make you actively work to marginalize the likes of John Hagee, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum then you had better be comfortable with the idea of being killed because you were declared a witch by others in your community.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Griftopia

  • Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America
  • By: Matt Taibbi
  • Narrated by: Patrick Egan
  • Length: 11 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 685
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 454

The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 isn’t past but prologue. The stunning rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street in the bubble-and-bailout era was the coming-out party for the network of looters who sit at the nexus of American political and economic power. The grifter class - made up of the largest players in the financial industry and the politicians who do their bidding - has been growing in power for a generation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • News In America

  • By Jerome on 11-23-10

Could cause an aneurism or even stroke

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-28-11

This is classic Matt Taibbi. He is not afraid to use blunt, honest, language. Such as calling the individuals who nearly caused another Great Depression a variety of terms never heard from journalists or the pundit class except when attempting to smear members of the other political party.

Having read other books on the recent financial crisis (e.g., "The Big Short") I thought I had a good understanding of the underlying causes and perpetrators. But listening to Matt's account I found myself occasionally sounding like a sufferer of Tourette syndrome as I learned new details about how the amoral, greedy, stupid "masters of the universe" at AIG, GoldmanSachs, et. al. nearly destroyed the world.

Buy a copy for yourself and another for your Tea Bagger family member or friend.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Art of Racing in the Rain

  • By: Garth Stein
  • Narrated by: Christopher Evan Welch
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,597
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,770
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,774

Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enzo (because he's so wize) for president.

  • By Lora on 06-17-08

A story with a unique perspective

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-13-10

This story made me think of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night". That book is told from the perspective of an autistic child. This one from the perspective of a dog. In both you are drawn into the protagonists world. Here the author does a marvelous job of giving the dog just enough human qualities that you can relate to his viewpoint yet you never lose sight of the fact a dog is narrating.