Mel’s 5 Second Audiobook Review: Big History

Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity (2008)
Written by: David Christian
Read by: David Christian

big history

(Questions from Audible’s reviews form)

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I’d recommend this course to anyone interested in history as a whole, since it really does cover all (or almost all, see additional comments :-p ) 13 plus billion years of the universe.

Who was your favorite character and why?
Uh… guys… this is a history course. There are no “characters” as such. Someone proofread these questions, hunh? :-p

What about Professor David Christian’s performance did you like?
He’s very clear, talks well, and has a cute accent. What more could we ask for in a lecturer?

If you could give Big History a new subtitle, what would it be?
13 Billion Years in 24 hours

Any additional comments?
I quite enjoyed this course. As with most courses, I did skip lectures here and there of the stuff that I wasn’t really interested in (like the lecture titled What is Agriculture? *yawn*). There was one thing that kinda pissed me off, though, and that was the total omission of dinosaurs. He never even said the word, he just simply skipped them. That’s a half billion years gap. How can you do Big History without even mentioning them? In fact, I almost stopped it at that point, I was so irked. A month went by before I picked it up again. And that’s why it gets 8/10 instead of 10/10. I still do recommend it though, despite the missing dinos.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Audiobook Review: The Martian

The Martian
Written by: Andy Weir
Read by: RC Bray

The-Martian

“If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked.”

(Questions from Audible’s reviews form)

Would you listen to The Martian again? Why?
I probably wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s very, very rare that I’ll ever re-read a book. It’s happened only a small handful of times in my adult life. I have so much in my to-read list that I don’t spend time re-reading books, no matter how awesome they were (and this one was awesome).

Who was your favorite character and why?
Definitely the main character, Mark Watney. Along with the obvious heroic stuff, he’s got a killer sense of humour that just brings the character to a whole other level. Venket Kapour, a NASA administrator, is also a wonderful character.

What about RC Bray’s performance did you like?
Everything! He’s an awesome reader! Every character has his own unique voice and accent, even the women, without sounding silly. His voice is pretty much perfect. He was born to read audiobooks.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I laughed out loud a good few times. I never cried, but I did get really tense a few times. Near the end, I actually had trouble sitting still while listening!

Any additional comments?
This is a practically perfect sci-fi story. And it’s not so out there that I couldn’t picture something like this actually happening. It’s futuristic, but not very far into the future. 50, 100 years, tops. The writing was simple, but very good, and all the characters were engaging. I’d recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in sci-fi. It gets a perfect score from me, 10/10.

Mel’s 5 Second Audiobook Review: Einstein’s Cosmos

Einstein’s Cosmos
Written by: Michio Kaku
Read by: Ray Porter

Einstein's Cosmos

(Questions from Audible’s reviews form)

If you could sum up Einstein’s Cosmos in three words, what would they be?
Fun, informative, fast-paced.

Who was your favorite character and why?
Considering this is a biography of Einstein, I’ll go out on a limb and say that he’s the best character in the book :-p He really was an amazing man.

What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?
He’s got a clear, crisp voice, perfect for audiobooking. I was a little sad they didn’t get Michio Kaku to read it himself, so more of his wit would come through, but Ray Porter still did a great job. We do get a little bit of Dr K, however, he reads the preface.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
Einstein as you’ve never seen him before! (I know, super original, hunh?)

Any additional comments?
I’ve known who Einstein was since I was a kid, but besides the basics of his work, I really didn’t know anything about the man himself. It made for quite a wonderful story, and I was very glad to find out that he was a genuinely awesome human being, and not a prick like most geniuses seem to be (I’m looking at you, Newton, you crazy douchebag!)I felt a little dumb a few times when they went in to a few of his papers and equations, but on the whole it makes for a great read (or listen, rather). The only reason it doesn’t get a perfect score is because I skipped the rather dry last chapter. He’d already died, The book really should have ended there. So instead it gets a 9.5/10. Anyone who likes biographies definitely needs to give this one a whirl! 🙂

 

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Audiobook Review: The Origin and Evolution of Earth – From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence

The Origin and Evolution of Earth: From the Big Bang to the Future of Human Existence
Written by: Robert M Hazen
Read by: Robert M Hazen

Origin Evolution of Earth

 

(Questions from Audible’s reviews page)

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. In fact I already have one in mind. A good half of the course was geology and elements and things like that and, while not my cup of tea, I have a friend who will love it.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
The parts I liked the most were the cosmology and astronomy lectures, which were mostly in the first half. Once he started in on the table of elements and geology, however, he kind of lost me.

What about Professor Robert M Hazen’s performance did you like?
He’s very articulate, with a clear voice. Definitely a great lecturer.

Was The Origin and Evolution of Earth worth the listening time?
The parts that I enjoyed, very much so. I skipped almost half the lectures, though. I guess I should read the descriptions more closely.

Any additional comments?
I’m definitely not giving this course 6.5/10 because it sucked. As I said, Dr Hazen is a great lecturer, and what I enjoyed of the course I really loved. I gave it only 6.5 cause geology and mineralogy aren’t my bag. But for those interested in those subjects, I definitely recommend this course.

M.