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  • The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
  • By: Robert M. Sapolsky
  • Narrated by: Michael Goldstrom
  • Length: 26 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,818
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,613
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,598

Why do we do the things we do? More than a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful, but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: He starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs and then hops back in time from there in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful

  • By Doug Hay on 07-27-17

Dense but navigable; brilliant

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

Reviewed: 03-31-18

Pros: fabulous review of a wide breadth of the biology of human behavior, clever framing of the topic with time preceding an action rather than through systems, and excellent explanatory style making challenging material digestible.

Cons: over-reliance on some of the increasingly empirically suspect implicit bias and priming research literatures, and while I love Sapolsky, he remains a bit of a hippie, an eminently reasonable and brilliant hippie, but a hippie nonetheless; so there is a bit of that interpretive lens.

This narrator is the epitome of an excellent nonfiction narrator.

  • The Selfish Gene

  • By: Richard Dawkins
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward
  • Length: 16 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,653
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,817
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,756

Richard Dawkins' brilliant reformulation of the theory of natural selection has the rare distinction of having provoked as much excitement and interest outside the scientific community as within it. His theories have helped change the whole nature of the study of social biology, and have forced thousands to rethink their beliefs about life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Better than print!

  • By J. D. May on 07-31-12

Dated material? Maybe. Dawkins' insights, timeless

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

Reviewed: 09-02-17

Maybe one of the greatest science communicators ever gives you a clear and intuitive picture of the importance of the myriad permutations of life to the survival of the true driver of that biologic diversity, the gene that seeks to find ever more clever and successful ways to carry itself further and further into the future. His methods of explanation and his use of intuitive understanding in describing complex topics makes this one of the greatest source books ever written.

To boot, the extended and updated footnotes are included as they occur in the text and are read by Dawkins himself. Listening to those book I read 20 years ago was truly a pleasure.

  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms

  • A Song of Ice and Fire
  • By: George R. R. Martin
  • Narrated by: Harry Lloyd
  • Length: 10 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,894
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,587
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,524

Taking place nearly a century before the events of A Game of Thrones, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms compiles the first three official prequel novellas to George R. R. Martin's ongoing masterwork, A Song of Ice and Fire. Before Tyrion Lannister and Podrick Payne, there were Dunk and Egg. A young, naïve, but ultimately courageous hedge knight, Ser Duncan the Tall towers above his rivals - in stature if not experience. Tagging along is his diminutive squire, a boy called Egg - whose true name (hidden from all he and Dunk encounter) is Aegon Targaryen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Martin is a genius

  • By Celeste Albers on 04-26-16

A quick and enjoyable visit to westeros

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

Reviewed: 01-27-16

Harry Lloyd does an excellent job narrating. The three stories are great examples of how Martin is the king of mature fantasy fiction. Well worth the time as we wait for the next Song of Ice And Fire installment.

  • Hallucinations

  • By: Oliver Sacks
  • Narrated by: Dan Woren, Oliver Sacks
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 585
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 502
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 495

Have you ever seen something that wasn't really there? Heard someone call your name in an empty house? Sensed someone following you and turned around to find nothing? Hallucinations don't belong wholly to the insane. Much more commonly, they are linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness, or injury. People with migraines may see shimmering arcs of light or tiny, Lilliputian figures of animals and people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Just Hallucinations

  • By Pamela Harvey on 01-05-13

Oliver Sacks never disappoints

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

Reviewed: 01-13-16

Great case studies help to contribute to the demystifying and destigmatizing of hallucinations. While broad conclusions feel perpetually lacking but forever lingering at the precipice, it fills the gaps between the fear of hallucinations and the reality. And I guess, that is where conclusions leave us anyway, there are no broad conclusions to make other than hallucinations are many-faceted, manifold, varied, etiologically ambiguous, and more often than not, less serious than we suppose. There's a lesson in there, I think. Sacks was a great man, his stories probably embellished the science some but what good artist doesn't use embellishment to highlight the important facets of their subjects.

  • Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Nelson Runger
  • Length: 24 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,879
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,462
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,448

Benjamin Franklin is the founding father who winks at us - an ambitious urban entrepreneur who rose up the social ladder, from leather-aproned shopkeeper to dining with kings. In best-selling author Walter Isaacson's vivid and witty full-scale biography, we discover why Franklin turns to us from history's stage with eyes that twinkle from behind his new-fangled spectacles. In Benjamin Franklin, Isaacson shows how Franklin defines both his own time and ours. The most interesting thing that Franklin invented, and continually reinvented, was himself.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good book, not crazy about the narrator

  • By Cathi on 07-20-13

Good story; kinda hokey narration

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

Reviewed: 01-13-16

While the folksy narrating did grow on me and I came to understand it's rationale after listening to more of the story of Franklin's persona as a folksy scientist philosopher, I found the narrating at times distracting. That being said, the importance of the full scope of Franklin's life and the fascinating course that it charted through the colonial to revolutionary period in the nascent United States and the seeds of change in Europe that he either sowed or witnessed, make his story one worth knowing. The story makes some excuses for his cold dismissal (and possible neglect) of his family and it is here, with those serious and grave topics that the folksy narration draws too stark a contrast between narration and content.

Overall, it's worth the time because this man's story is so integral to the story of the establishment of the American story. I hope another biographer will take Franklin to task (McCullough or Chernow)...

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Alexander Hamilton

  • By: Ron Chernow
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 35 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,544
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 11,717
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 11,655

Ron Chernow, whom the New York Times called "as elegant an architect of monumental histories as we've seen in decades", now brings to startling life the man who was arguably the most important figure in American history, who never attained the presidency, but who had a far more lasting impact than many who did.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Outstanding & Riveting Book!

  • By Kevin on 03-04-05

The most compelling founding father

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

Reviewed: 12-14-15

I didn't want to stop listening. The story of Alexander Hamilton is so inherently compelling from such humble and shadowy beginnings to a "by your bootstraps" rise to prominence, acclaim, and influence on our young country to his heart-breaking fall from all the above; the narrative flows like a great fiction. Brick kills it in the narration, like always.

  • Washington: A Life

  • By: Ron Chernow
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 41 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,511
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,595
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,569

In Washington: A Life celebrated biographer Ron Chernow provides a richly nuanced portrait of the father of our nation. This crisply paced narrative carries the reader through his troubled boyhood, his precocious feats in the French and Indian War, his creation of Mount Vernon, his heroic exploits with the Continental Army, his presiding over the Constitutional Convention, and his magnificent performance as America's first president.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book!

  • By Jack Merritt on 12-24-10

Appropriately Pollyanna; stellar narration

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

Reviewed: 12-14-15

There is plenty of the typically hyperbolic hero worship to be expected from a Washington biography but also a fair accounting of the sometimes hypocritical juxtaposition of the man's ideals relative to his actions on issues of slavery and business. It's an insightful look at the first president and an enjoyable narrative. Brick dies a typically stellar job narrating with clarity and emotion when needed without being distracting or leading the listener towards his own interpretation of the text.

  • Brainwashed

  • The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience
  • By: Sally Satel, Scott O. Lilienfeld
  • Narrated by: Jean Barrett
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 47

In recent years, the advent of MRI technology seems to have unlocked the secrets of the human mind, revealing the sources of our deepest desires, intentions, and fears. As renowned psychiatrist and scholar Sally Satel and psychologist Scott O. Lilienfeld demonstrate in Brainwashed, however, the explanatory power of brain scans in particular and neuroscience more generally has been vastly overestimated.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The Overall Message...

  • By Douglas on 11-26-13

Dry narration of an excellent work of skepticism

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

Reviewed: 05-13-15

While the narration is very intelligible it is devoid of the intonation which would better convey the skeptical demeanor of the text. The content is excellent and very necessary in this age of neuro-hyperbole (or neurobole, if you prefer).

  • No Place to Hide

  • A Brain Surgeon's Long Journey Home from the Iraq War
  • By: W. Lee Warren
  • Narrated by: Henry Arnold
  • Length: 9 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77

A War Zone of the Soul: Dr. W. Lee Warren's life as a neurosurgeon in a trauma center began to unravel long before he shipped off to serve the Air Force in Iraq in 2004. When he traded a comfortable if demanding practice in San Antonio, Texas, for a ride on a C-130 into the combat zone, he was already reeling from months of personal struggle. At the 332nd Air Force Theater Hospital at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, Warren realized his experience with trauma was just beginning.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • MASH is Iraq

  • By JHG on 01-31-16

So good because it is so personal

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

Reviewed: 03-22-15

It was well narrated and personally revealing while also offering a gritty accounting of the reality of a wartime hospital. This book also delves often into the wuss in which his Christian faith framed his experiences in both good and bad ways. Such as the moral injury of being a witness to the evils of war, the selflessness and good that individuals can muster despite being beset by evil, and the redemptive power of ceding control over one's life to God. Finally, he offers wonderful and moving insight into the very human experience of trying to figure out how to carry on with life during and after the fracturing of a relationship or marriage. If recommend this book to anyone but certainly anyone in military health system, healthcare providers of all stripes, anyone struggling through family or faith crises, and anyone interested in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So... basically everyone, as I'm sure we can all find a point of relation herein.

  • Bad Pharma

  • How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients
  • By: Ben Goldacre
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Cowley
  • Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 129
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126

Medicine is broken. We like to imagine that it's based on evidence and the results of fair tests. In reality, those tests are often profoundly flawed. We like to imagine that doctors are familiar with the research literature surrounding a drug, when in reality much of the research is hidden from them by drug companies. We like to imagine that doctors are impartially educated, when in reality much of their education is funded by industry.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must read for health professionals

  • By zerodynamics on 03-01-13

Crucial information; outstanding narration

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

Reviewed: 02-23-15

Full of vital information for Healthcare professionals and patients. Narration conveyed the sense of urgency and call to action required for a book like this. Brilliantly done!