Nothing influenced my life more than the early NASA programs, especially the Apollo missions. I still remember myself as a young 8-year-old, watchingNothing influenced my life more than the early NASA programs, especially the Apollo missions. I still remember myself as a young 8-year-old, watching the moon landing along with the rest of the world. I was the perfect age upon which this historic event would ensure maximum impact.
A fond memory is going outside with my Dad and looking up at the moon and wondering if we could see the light from the craft circling the moon while Neil and Buzz where on the surface. I was in awe. Surprisingly, these events did not inspire me to be an astronaut but rather the awe of the universe sparked my curiosity and desire to become an astronomer.
Even at eight years old, I was voraciously reading every astronomy book in the adult section of the library. I memorized planetary data like sport stats on my baseball cards. I subscribed to Sky & Telescope magazine to keep appraised of the latest news in the space program and astronomy news in general.
The following year, for my 9th birthday, I received the best birthday gift of my life—a telescope. I cried. I wanted that more than Ralphie in the movie, A Christmas Story, wanted his Red Ryder BB gun. I used that thing at every opportunity to check out the universe and witness astronomical events no matter the time of day. I was ecstatic. I was gaining astronomical knowledge and I had the tools. I was on my way to becoming an astronomer!
Time passed and I eagerly awaited my time until I could go to high school to learn more about astronomy and take physics sophomore year. I knew physics was required for an astronomer and was already looking at colleges to see where I might like to go to get my degree. Life was good.
Then came sophomore year and physics; followed by the end of my dream. I had always been an “A” student except when it came to physics and geometry. I could not grasp working with vectors in physics nor theorems in geometry. While doing well in all other classes, I barely passed these two. I was defeated. If I could not handle high school level courses related to my dream, how could I expect to excel in those courses in college?
In hindsight, I believe I gave up too early and should have attempted it again in college, but what did I know? I still view being an astronomer as my dream job but don’t get me wrong; my life has turned out pretty darn good. I have a wonderful, healthy family and we are happy and comfortable. I have upgraded my telescope over the years and have maintained my passion for astronomy. Today I am among other things, a husband, father, son, brother, and. . . amateur astronomer.
Don’t know why I wrote all this. Not your typical review or commentary but it was cathartic. Reading this book made all these wonderful memories come flooding back and that’s the impact of the book upon me. So, I suppose I just want to thank America and NASA for all the wonderful things they did in helping shape this former little boy’s life.
More inspirational, feel-good stories obtained through hypnotic regression about our journey as souls. From our current life to past lives and the timMore inspirational, feel-good stories obtained through hypnotic regression about our journey as souls. From our current life to past lives and the time in between, everything is about experiencing and learning life lessons. They must be learned no matter how long it takes.
Love, kindness, compassion, and respect for life and each other are what we all need to learn in order to progress along our spiritual paths. (hide spoiler)]
The following sentence jumped out at me from the book and has stuck with me – since I listened to this as an audio book, I may be paraphrasing but it was something like the following: Remember that we are not humans having a spiritual experience but rather, we are spirits having a human experience.
May we all have safe travels and beautiful experiences. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Thanks to the author for providing a free download in exchange for an honest opinion. So, here we go. . .
I could not help but recall Dennis Green’s (hThanks to the author for providing a free download in exchange for an honest opinion. So, here we go. . .
I could not help but recall Dennis Green’s (head coach of the Arizona Cardinals) post game rant after the Chicago Bears comeback win against his team in 2006. In that rant, he exclaimed that, “They were who we thought they were!” It’s the same for these short stories. They are what they claim to be - - as the author states in his comments, ". . .a trilogy of three short novels (novelettes) in the "Twilight Zone" style”. That was my expectation and that is what was delivered.
I agree further with the author’s comment regarding the narration, “The narrator, John Bell, injects much life into the text with his astoundingly versatile and expert voice.”
So why 3 stars? First, as a market researcher, I think I’m a strict grader, secondly one bonus star for the narration, and thirdly,
I found the second two stories predictable and did not enjoy the first story very much. Maybe my interests as a history lover and a fan of historical fiction made me more likely to immediately figure it out. As a result, I'm probably not the target audience for this one. (hide spoiler)]
Because of the reasons in the outlined in the spoiler, I think my rating and opinion will be in the minority on this one. So, if you are looking for short, twisty, Twilight Zone-esque stories with superb narration, don’t let my spoiler comments deter you from missing out. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The first thing that jumps out at me in this book is the narration by Dan O’Grady. As David Aaron Baker is to the Odd Thomas series and Davina PorterThe first thing that jumps out at me in this book is the narration by Dan O’Grady. As David Aaron Baker is to the Odd Thomas series and Davina Porter is to Claire Randall Frazier in the Outlander series, Dan O’Grady is Don Tillman here. Each of their performances in these books is fantastic, outstanding; there can be no other for these books, good. I mention the narration first because even before the story blooms, their efforts have already captivated me. There are few, if any, narrators I dislike and feel for the most part, all do excellent, professional work. However, the combination of an extraordinary story with a narrator that brings that story to life by truly becoming that character is a rare thing. So, I am very excited to add Dan O’Grady’s performance to the aforementioned short list in the newly created Grumpus Narration Hall of Fame!
Did I mention how great the narration was?
For those of you familiar with the television series The Big Bang Theory, this book will remind you a lot of the socially challenged, Sheldon Cooper character. In this case, Don Tillman, like Sheldon, exhibits many of the classical Asperger’s symptoms. They even have similar occupations, Sheldon the theoretical physicist and Don, the geneticist. The story line revolves around Don wanting to find a partner, which he refers to as the “wife project”. As you can imagine, he undertakes a rigorous scientific approach to this task - - as you would expect someone with this personality trait would do. In light of the book trailer tagline, the art of love is never science, you can envisage the outcome.
I have to admit, I found many similarities to myself in this character. Not to that severe degree, but I could easily become like Don (who is a little less extreme than Sheldon) if I were to allow myself to (take a look at my profile to understand). Therefore, I am encouraging my wife to read this one and am very curious as to her reaction and opinion. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel to be released in September 2014. This is an outstanding romantic comedy that will appeal to all. ...more
Wow, I feel very lucky to have stumbled upon this little known (to me anyway) gem. This is the second one that I was fortunate to have found this yearWow, I feel very lucky to have stumbled upon this little known (to me anyway) gem. This is the second one that I was fortunate to have found this year. The first being The Martian. Surprisingly, I believe that I first encountered them through ads on Goodreads. I don’t know if they are using Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think to target my interests using an algorithm based upon the books I’ve read or not. Either way, the recommendations have proven very effective in my case. You’re welcome, Otis. You can send the money directly to my PayPal account. *big grin*
It is written in the manner of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine. A man with a terminal illness builds a time machine in order to travel into the future (but you can’t go back in time). He ends up more than 2,000 years in the future in Hollow World. People are now androgynous, all looking like naked Ken dolls, and live below the surface of Earth.
I don’t want to give away too much but suffice to say the world is a very different but still familiar place. I enjoyed the characters tremendously and loved learning along with the protagonist the way future society functions. The wondrous awe that the author instilled in me as I read this was spellbinding. There is a murder to solve but how the story unfolds in this future world is a work of genius.
As I’ve indicated in previous reviews, I know a great book when I’m sad to depart from the characters at the end. I've enjoyed my time with them but now we have to part. That’s the way it was with this one. Therefore, five stars!
A quote at the end of the book was particularly poignant and made me reflect even further.
“What is love? It not lust or dependence or infatuation or familiarity. Love isn’t a fondness or butterflies in your stomach. Love is the degree to which you are willing to sacrifice your own interests for those of another. It doesn’t matter what sex you are. It doesn’t matter who you are or were. It matters only you care more for someone else than you do for yourself.”
Very well said, indeed.
Oh, by the way, this was an audiobook with brilliant narration. Jonathan Davis. Great voice, perfect choice.
How does one write a book about Mona Lisa, art history, and travels through beautiful Italy without aWhat the *#!?
Now that I have your attention. . .
How does one write a book about Mona Lisa, art history, and travels through beautiful Italy without a single picture? The only photo of the famous Mona Lisa is on the cover and that is a very transparent image.
The author goes in detail describing the places she visited in tracing the life of Lisa (which I truly appreciated) but would it have hurt to take a camera and show us actual images? Same goes for the works of art she describes throughout the book. I was completely annoyed that I had to go to the internet and search for images of the works she discussed. I also had to look up images of the de Medici family (and ooh, they are not lookers), Salai (Leonardo’s pupil and maybe more), and others. Am I wrong? The book could have been 4 or 5 stars with those additions.
On the positive side, her writing style was very descriptive and helped me mentally “be there” with Lisa, Leonardo, and with all those she researched that led up to their fateful encounter. There was also a nice epilogue detailing what became of everyone and subsequent generations of Lisa’s family.
I have been trying to teach myself Italian and valued her use of that language (with translations) throughout the book where appropriate. Without the images, all I can say is it was un buon libro (a good book) but dove sono le foto (where are the photos)? ...more
Imagine hearing this quote from the book description in the booming voice of the movie trailer guy, “In the tradition of Krakatoa, The World Without UImagine hearing this quote from the book description in the booming voice of the movie trailer guy, “In the tradition of Krakatoa, The World Without Us, and Guns, Germs and Steel comes a sweeping history of the year that became known as 18-hundred-and-froze-to-death.“ Compelling, right? That’s what I thought.
I knew of this 1816 event and wanted to learn more and eagerly sought out this book which is well researched but contains too much repetitive detail.
One of the authors has a Ph.D. in meteorology and the science in the beginning of the book is what I was looking for. After that, the book fell apart with repetition of descriptions of weather from Europe and the US. To be honest, I don’t know what I expected the book to contain so maybe the disappointment is on me as much as the authors.
Among the books I’ve read to date, I find on average, there is 1 book that I am unable to finish for every 70 books I read. I think this is a great indication that I am willing to give a book every benefit of doubt and will likely trudge through no matter what. Obviously, there are the exceptions. This, unfortunately, is one of them. ...more
This is not the end. There is more to our existence than what we are experiencing in this life. This book details the experiences of some of the peoplThis is not the end. There is more to our existence than what we are experiencing in this life. This book details the experiences of some of the people who had a glimpse of what lies beyond this life. The messages are all positive which aligns with what I’ve learned from other books on this topic.
Yes, I’m at that age--the age where I am beginning to suffer the loss of my parent’s generation and even some of my acquaintances with increased frequency. It naturally leads you to question your own mortality. Reading this book and others like it continue to give me a sense of peace and comfort in knowing those who have passed will be alright and happy—as will we all someday. Although death is never easy (especially for those left behind), this knowledge will make it a little easier to help me “let go” of loved ones when that unfortunate time comes. I know it is not an end but rather, an until we meet again. ...more
Wanna know about this book? “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.” This is the claim put forth by the author regarding his mentalist abilities.
I’m stWanna know about this book? “If I tell you, I’ll have to kill you.” This is the claim put forth by the author regarding his mentalist abilities.
I’m still amazed I stuck it out and finished this book. The subtitle, Unlocking the Power of Your Mind to Get What You Want, is what drew me in. Little did I know it was about the author, getting what he wanted—another reader. There was no new information about influencing people. In fact, the majority of this widely known information, such as mirroring, does not appear until the second half of the book.
This book was the biggest load of braggadocio I have ever read. It was full of him documenting his performances and how great he thinks his performances are. While I don’t doubt they are amazing, a little humility goes a long way. Again, as the author stated again and again about his performances and abilities, “pretty cool, right?” WRONG! ...more
Joe Hill is, in my opinion, is a writer of caliber equal to that of his famous father, Stephen King. This being the second book I have read of his (thJoe Hill is, in my opinion, is a writer of caliber equal to that of his famous father, Stephen King. This being the second book I have read of his (the other NOS4A2), I am in awe of his story plots and story telling. How does he come up with these ideas?
What intrigued me most about this book was the manner in which the story was told. I don’t want to give too much away but this style must have been done before (although I don't recall it). The shift in perspective took me by surprise and then drew me into the story--revealing the background bit by bit. The most interesting feature (or power?) was being able to get others to tell you what they really think. I found this both oddly interesting and curiously disturbing.
It was an amazing story with many fascinating twists and turns that keep you guessing in terms of “Who dunnit?” and how it will all wrap up. Fantastic narration by Fred Berman makes for a fantastic listen. ...more
If not for copyright laws, this book could easily have been entitled, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”. This is a captivating story of an amazing life thatIf not for copyright laws, this book could easily have been entitled, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”. This is a captivating story of an amazing life that could not have been better had it been scripted at birth.
Mr. Feynman has done it all. I loved the feeling of tagging along on this brilliant, Nobel-prize winning physicist’s life. A little eccentric yes, but the narrative flows in a very conversational manner (which is a style I like very much). From his early life, to his work on the atomic bomb, to his ability to crack safes, I could not help but admire his chutzpah and proven success. This "nerd" even had tremendous success with the ladies. Therefore, on behalf of nerds everywhere, you are our hero!
He, like Robert Todd Lincoln, was always lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time in history. The difference is that Feynman tended to be around for the more auspicious historical events. Truly, there are not enough adjectives to describe his amazing talents, admirable life, and impressive success.
Among the many biographies I’ve read, only one other person gets this summation, “Remarkable...a life well lived.” That person? Abigail Adams...more