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  • How to Invent Everything

  • A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler
  • By: Ryan North
  • Narrated by: Ryan North
  • Length: 12 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

What would you do if a time machine hurled you thousands of years into the past...and then broke? How would you survive? With this book as your guide, you'll survive - and thrive - in any period in Earth's history. Best-selling author and time-travel enthusiast Ryan North tells you how to invent all the modern conveniences we take for granted - from first principles. This manual contains all the science, engineering, art, philosophy, facts, and figures required for even the most clueless time traveler to build a civilization from the ground up.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
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  • By Tim McNerney on 11-26-18

Wayyyy too much focus on the humor

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

Reviewed: 01-18-19

It really beats the same tired joke to death instead of getting into what I thought the book was. It's like someone read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and watched Primitive Technology on YouTube and decided to smash them together in a mediocre book.

  • A Distant Mirror

  • The Calamitous Fourteenth Century
  • By: Barbara W. Tuchman
  • Narrated by: Wanda McCaddon
  • Length: 28 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,505
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 989
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,007

The 14th century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering time of crusades and castles, cathedrals and chivalry, and the exquisitely decorated Books of Hours; and on the other, a time of ferocity and spiritual agony, a world of chaos and the plague.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping, once you get into it

  • By E. Smakman on 11-30-09

Disjointed and lacking context.

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

Reviewed: 06-09-17

I understand some history is bland... but this is BLAND. It feels like a list of events happening, with very little context or anthropological framework to help understand WHY this time period is somehow a "distant mirror."

I'm a relatively intelligent person and often found myself lost regarding who was doing what and more importantly, why.

The facts are all seemingly there, but there is very little connective framework to help a layperson.

  • David and Goliath

  • Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
  • By: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Narrated by: Malcolm Gladwell
  • Length: 7 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,173
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,332
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,313

In David and Goliath, Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about obstacles and disadvantages, offering a new interpretation of what it means to be discriminated against, or cope with a disability, or lose a parent, or attend a mediocre school, or suffer from any number of other apparent setbacks. Gladwell begins with the real story of what happened between the giant and the shepherd boy those many years ago.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Art of (Unconventional) War

  • By Cynthia on 10-04-13

Veers wildly from the theme

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

Reviewed: 03-21-17

The connective tissue of "David vs Goliath" is questionable at best and seemingly missing in some of the chapters. A few times I caught myself wondering "Wait, what does this have to do with anything else?"

This might simply be a function of Gladwell's other books being so good at working around their own themes. Maybe it's not fair to compare them.