I have a tendency-out of morbid curiosity, I suppose-to read through some of the negative reviews of a book, particularly a book that I have enjoyed.I have a tendency-out of morbid curiosity, I suppose-to read through some of the negative reviews of a book, particularly a book that I have enjoyed. Perhaps it's my subconscious way of trying to see a work from all perspectives in order to balance out my biased enthusiasm.
Frankly, I was a little surprised at some of the critiques made.
A common complaint seems to be that McCullough does not delve deeply enough into the technical aspects of aeronautics or expand his narrative to thoroughly cover the modern history of aviation. However, as the title of this book indicates, the story's primary focus is on the Wright brothers and their particular contribution.
Another related complaint is that the brothers were simply not interesting enough to write a biography about. If by "not interesting," one means that they were not debauched, egotistical and/or neurotic, then yes, they were not interesting.
However, I found their unshakably straight-laced demeanor rather refreshing. I also got a kick out of the French's reaction to Wilber upon his arrival to their country. They were absolutely stunned that he didn't smoke, drink, or chase women. In addition, he (and later Orville) gained some notoriety in France with their child-like fascination with a juggling toy called the diabolo. In the end, I gained a great deal of respect and admiration for, not just the brothers, but their whole family. With all of the wealth and fame they achieved, never once did it seem to turn their heads.
There was one critique that I did tend to agree with. I listened to this as an audiobook with McCullough himself reading. Normally, I love listening to McCullough narrate, but for this audiobook, he just sounded tired.
I'm sure that this is a good and effective plan, but to be honest, I'm not all that interested in reading up and/or participating in the latest diet fI'm sure that this is a good and effective plan, but to be honest, I'm not all that interested in reading up and/or participating in the latest diet fad. I read this mainly out of curiosity.
Like all health plans, I think it all just boils down to using common sense and doing everything in moderation....more
Over the past few years, I have fantasized about doing the 30 ballparks in 30 days road trip. However, after reading what the two authors went throughOver the past few years, I have fantasized about doing the 30 ballparks in 30 days road trip. However, after reading what the two authors went through during their own 30 in 30 odyssey, I'm having second thoughts. There is a blurb on the back cover of the book written by author Steve Hely that captures my own sentiments. He stated that "[t]his is a wonderfully crazy, wonderfully stupid idea. I'm glad someone-someone other than me-did it."
The trip is spear-headed by Ben Blatt, baseball fan and stats junkie. After crunching the numbers, Blatt comes up with a statistically probable (yet theoretical) scenario in which he could crisscross the country by car and hit every ballpark in time for the first pitch and be able to stay through the entire game (even for extra innings) before moving on to the next city.
Blatt's partner in this experiment is college friend Eric Brewster, who incidentally hates baseball and thinks the entire trip is ridiculous. Yet he reluctantly agrees to join Blatt for reasons that even he is not sure of...at least initially.
As one would expect, a trip planned on paper and mathematical calculations does not go according to reality's script. Having left little margin for error, the friends find themselves rushing around the U.S. (and Canada) trying to meet deadlines. The "perfect" plan is constantly challenged by weather, car trouble, time zone mix-ups, and several stops by the police who tended to frown on triple digit MPHs. On several occasions, the grand experiment seemed doomed to failure, but Blatt and Brewster press on.
Throughout the trip, the two friends learn a great deal about America, each other, and sometimes even baseball.
I wish I could go on further about this book, but I don't want to spoil the whole adventure for readers. I highly recommend this book for fans (and non-fans) of baseball and those who love a good travel story. ...more
One previous reviewer mentioned this, and I would also like to add (for the record) that I'm giving four stars to the audiobook presentation, not forOne previous reviewer mentioned this, and I would also like to add (for the record) that I'm giving four stars to the audiobook presentation, not for the New Testament itself.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to the NT being narrated by such well-known personalities as Lavar Burton, Blair Underwood, T.J. Jakes, Kirk Franklin, and Samuel L. Jackson.
Another reviewer had mentioned that the gospel songs that were interspersed throughout the narrative were nice but tended to be a bit of a distraction for those who simply wanted to listen to the Word straight through. I would have to agree with this. I enjoyed the music, but maybe not during a Pauline lecture.
I also liked the background noises that added a touch of ambiance to the narratives; the sound of a pen scratching on paper while Paul, John, Luke, James, etc. spoke, the clank of prison doors and dripping water; the bustling noise of city life; the soothing sound of a muffled thunderstorm....more
Overall, I enjoyed reading this, particularly the mini-biographies of various Cubs players in the first portion of the book. However, I think the bookOverall, I enjoyed reading this, particularly the mini-biographies of various Cubs players in the first portion of the book. However, I think the book's editor must have fallen asleep at the switch. There were a lot of typos!...more
I felt that the humor was on par with Barry's other nonfiction works, but what impressed me the most about this book were the final two essays. The fiI felt that the humor was on par with Barry's other nonfiction works, but what impressed me the most about this book were the final two essays. The first was written immediately after 9/11, the second on the one year anniversary of the attack. I found both essays to be very heart-wrenching and poignant. I might even make a practice of reading them every Patriot Day; not to wallow in the despair and outrage, but to remember the event's impact, especially as the years continue to roll by....more