Interesting and well written. Filled with pertinent information, yet a bit long-winded at times.
The book is not merely a biography covering the lifeInteresting and well written. Filled with pertinent information, yet a bit long-winded at times.
The book is not merely a biography covering the life of one man, Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859). It starts with a description of the world he was born into - Prussia, Pre-Romanticism and the eminent philosophers, poets and writers of the time, i.e. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Immanuel Kant and Friedrich von Schiller, to name but a few. Humboldt came to spend long hours with Goethe. These prominent thinkers influenced who he was to become. Their lives and the lives of others Humboldt associated with are discussed. Another two such men are Simón Bolívar and Thomas Jefferson. Humboldt’s theories, experiments, books, travels and companions are covered. The book does not conclude with his death. It continues, showing how he directly influenced others, in particular Charles Darwin, George Perkins Marsh, Ernst Haeckel and John Muir. It is through these men that ecology, conservation and preservation has become what it is today. Others are mentioned too. The book ends with the hope that we reclaim Humboldt as our hero or at least re-acknowledge the importance he has played in how we view nature. Humboldt's thoughts and writings lie at the beginning of a chain of men who have brought us to where we are today in the field of environmentalism.
How much do we learn about Humboldt’s personality? Well he never kept his mouth shut, and he was indefatigable. In a conversation you couldn't get a word in edgewise. Being with him must have been quite a strain. Whether he was homosexual or not is unclear. How he could have possibly had time for anything other than his artistic, philosophical and scientific pursuits is the prime question. He seems to have had neither the time nor the interest for a lover. He was a fervent abolitionist.
The audiobook narration is by David Drummond. I found it too fast, particularly in the beginning. There is just too much information to absorb. Later it gets easier. Some words are unclear. Narration does not influence my rating.
Rivers, minerals, lakes, parks and many, many places are named after this Prussian. I didn't even know who he was! It is stated that more places have been named after this man than anyone else. His views have shaped our very concept of how we see nature. He realized back in 1800 the interrelationship between all aspects of nature. He understood that nature is one unified whole, and that an interdisciplinary approach is essential to solving problems, one such being climate control. ...more
It is difficult for me to find good dog books. I have been reading them for years and years, both fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction has to give meIt is difficult for me to find good dog books. I have been reading them for years and years, both fiction and non-fiction. Non-fiction has to give me something new. Fiction has to capture the immense love I feel for my dogs, and that is pretty darn hard to do.
This book of non-fiction gave me food for thought. It taught me things I had not known before. It has already helped me rethink how I communicate with my dog. What has been learned about dogs in the last decade is more than all that learned in the previous century. This book, published in 2013, has spanking new information. It is a book about the latest scientific studies on dogs’ cognitive abilities.
Dog training is a work in process. Your dog’s needs and behavior as a puppy, as a healthy adult and finally as he grows old are all very different. What worked with one of your dogs may not work with another. Each dog is an individual, even those of the same breed. All of this means that a dog owner has to keep learning. This book is filled with scientific studies that illustrate the latest theories. Some studies contradict others; divergent theories are expressed. I appreciate this. Exactly how the tests are preformed are carefully detailed. The results too.
There is fascinating information on how dogs became domesticated. Dogs are superbly equipped at reading human gestures. Which do they react to most readily - sound or movement, smell or touch or eye contact? I had no idea that eye contact was so important!
This is not a book to be used as a guide for how to train your new puppy - how to choose your pup, toilet train them, walk with them, teach them to come, sit and lie down. If you are looking for that then read The Art of Raising a Puppy. This is instead a book that helps you understand dog behavior. Knowledge of new scientific theories can help you alter your training methods to achieve better results.
At the end the book quickly discusses topics as varied as the role of dogs in Japan and in China both today and in the past, the cruel blood sport dog fighting, puppy mills, hormonal effects on canines and humans, gender specific behavior variations and the benefits of animal assisted medical therapy.
The audiobook narration by Fred Sanders is way too fast! Slow down, buddy! While dog owners read this book they have to have time to think. We dog owners are always being told the right way to train our dogs, and of course everyone says something different! Each must in the end decide for themselves which theories and which training methods make the most sense.
If you love your dog you want to understand all you can about them. With this understanding you can more easily train your dog. The better behavior your dog has the more you can do with them and the deeper you relationship grows.
Rather than repeating all my thoughts I post the link.
I don't give that many books five stars. They have to qualify as amazing. The author writes so you understand the value of nature, of the gift that is given to all of us. She shows us that a gift is tied with responsibility. Only if you understand that you have received a gift do you feel the responsibility to reciprocate. She opens our eyes to what has been given us. She also shows us how to handle the despair one can so easily feel. What is the point? I can do nothing. She gives us hope, and that is what is necessary so we don't just give up!
She wonderfully intertwines science with marvelous tales of the indigenous people. You can read the book just for these tales. You can read the book to learn scientific detail of flora and fauna. For example about strawberries, pecans, cattails, salamanders, maples and of course sweetgrass. Absolutely fascinating! You can read the book for inspiration; she is a single mother who has raised her kids alone. And what a fantastic job she has done. She remains humble. To top it all off she writes beautifully.
Occasionally I felt she was long-winded, but her message had to be made clear so we all really understand. Her message is SO important - to all of us!
This book is available on Kindle. If you try it and you don’t like it, you can get your money back if you return it within a week. What can you lose? I know, I am too pushy……. but I think this is such an important book. ...more
I finished this and thought it was very good, maybe quite simply because Marie Curie had such an interesting life, rather than the author's writing skI finished this and thought it was very good, maybe quite simply because Marie Curie had such an interesting life, rather than the author's writing skills. Fascinating and moving. Science details are explained just enough so you understand.....at least most of the time. Sometimes books go on and on and you drown in the details, but not here. You learn about her childhood, her devotion to science, her love for her children and husband and science. I repeated science twice, and that was done on purpose. I want to keep this short, but you also get relevant details on WW1 and Polish history too. Marie Curie had an interesting life. As a person she is someone to admire, but neither are her failures shied from. I do recommend the book. Fine narration of the audiobook by Eliza Foss....more
I am in the middle of moving from one country to another, so I just do not have the time to write a decent review of this excellent, marvelous book! PI am in the middle of moving from one country to another, so I just do not have the time to write a decent review of this excellent, marvelous book! Please, if you are at all interested in either history or amazing people grab this book soon. On closing this book the reader truly understand the atmosphere that swallowed up America during the era of McCarthyism and the Cold War. The reader comes to understand Oppenheimer - his creativity, his imagination and his failings too. The list of the latter is long, but boy do I admire the guy! There is so much I could tell you about this man who I knew nothing about before I read this book, except his label as the the "Father of the Atomic Bomb".
I listened to the audiobook read by Jeff Cummings. I have no complaints with the narration. Read the book or listen to the book. You choose, which ever suits you best. Just don't add it to one of those never-ending lists of books that you don't get around to actually reading!...more
I liked this book very, very much. We all have heard about Steve Jobs, but he is in fact a person even more magnetic than all the wild tidbits you havI liked this book very, very much. We all have heard about Steve Jobs, but he is in fact a person even more magnetic than all the wild tidbits you have heard before. Isaacson never white-washes the man. You get something very close to the truth. This man was inconsiderate, down-right mean and often obnoxious, and yet at the same time he had magnetism, a force that is inspiring. He went after his goals, and he never shied from stating an unpleasant truth. He and his company stood for beautiful products; he gave us products that we didn't even know we needed, but once you have them you cannot live without them. They are perfect; they are a delight to hold, they have a magic that other gadgets just do not have. He has tied creativity and imagination and technology all into one perfect, simplified product that is complete from start to finish. Who was this man, into Zen Buddhism, a vegan and a p-e-r-f-e-c-t-i-o-n-i-s-t above all? Working with him must have been pure hell ......and yet how often do you get to work with such an exceptional, demanding, creative person. At the same time he was a talented business entrepreneur.
So why not five stars? You learn about Steve, but I would have liked to learn more about his wife and his children - who they really were. How did they cope with such a spouse, such a father! You will not understand this question until you understand who Steve was. Secondly, quite often technical terms are used and they are not explained or defined. Perhaps many others know these but I didn't. Maybe the paper book has a dictionary at the end? The amazing thing is that even without any definitions being given, by the end of the book you have come to understand them. The book does educate the reader in the field of computer science.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Dylan Baker, with the epilogue narrated by the author, Walter Isaacson. Baker did a fantastic job of expressing the personality of Steve. He was a rebel and a Hippie and he lost his temper and swore. At the same time he was a fantastic business leader; he created the most valuable company in the world. His most popular word was shit, and if swear words are going to bother you I recommend you look elsewhere. I told you he had a temper. Anyhow, with Baker speaking, I often thought, this is Steve talking!
You just have to read this book to rub shoulders with such a personality. The man was exceptional. I have my doubts that Apple, as it was defined by him, can ever be the same without him. ...more
Please note that this book has received awards for its excellence for young adults. I was hesitant at first because I was looking for an adult book coPlease note that this book has received awards for its excellence for young adults. I was hesitant at first because I was looking for an adult book covering the science and history on the making of the first nuclear bomb and about Robert Oppenheimer, the father of that first bomb. This book is not in any way childish. It gives a clear and concise history of all the events. I am completely satisfied with the book. It is an excellent place to start. Having read this you want more details, more in-depth information about the main characters. I prefer starting with a background of the entire event before plunging into a book focused on Oppenheimer himself. Now I want to know more about this man. He is fascinating; first he makes the bomb and he is at the same time one of first to be aware of its dangers! I have already begun American Prometheus by Kai Bird, a biography focused just on Oppenheimer.
I gave this book three stars because I like it. It reads like a good Wiki article. It has all the prominent facts. This happened and this happened and then this. One event after another. You get a picture of the path toward the making of the bomb, its actual construction and the political environment of those times – WW2, the race for the scientific knowledge and McCarthyism. It is amazing how differently the people spying for the Soviets were punished….and why each thought the Soviets should have this knowledge.
Having read this book, I now can easily go further. There is little character analysis in this book, and that is what I am looking for in my next book on this topic. You certainly cannot start your education in the tenth grade…..now I have prepared myself.
Concerning the audiobook narration by Roy Samuelson, it was excellent. He doesn’t overdramatize the lines or the events. They are exciting in themselves and do not need extra emphasis. Good speed and clear enunciation too. I can highly recommend this as an audiobook. ...more