Mel’s Books: December

Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs
Written by: Barbara Mertz
Read by: Lorna Raver
Notes: Super interesting, fun read.
Score: 10/10

The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
Written by: Robert Garland
Read by: Robert Garland
Notes: I’d always wanted to read a book about this, and I’m glad I finally did. The lives of the normal people back then is just as interesting as the lives of the leaders, and it’s time they got some love. The lecturer talks like Sid the Sloth from Ice Age, but it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might at the beginning of the class.
Score: 9.5/10

Serial Killers Abridged
Written by: RJ Parker
Read by: Me
Notes: Short snippets on 100 different killers. The writing was very amateurish, but I still enjoyed it.
Score: 8/10

Masters of True Crime: Chilling Stories of Murder and the Macabre
Written by: Various, edited by R Barri Flowers
Read by: Tara Ochs
Notes: The narrator was a little meh, but the stories were very well written and interesting. Many cases I hadn’t heard of in this book.
Score: 8/10

Living History: Experiencing Great Events of the Ancient and Medieval World
Written by: Robert Garland
Read by: Robert Garland
Notes: 24 lectures about 24 different moments in history. Very cool approach to broad history. There were a few of the lectures that were kinda boring, but on the whole, a very interesting course.
Score: 8.5/10

The World’s Most Evil Psychopaths
Written by: John Marlowe
Read by: Eric Meyers
Notes: A good mix of famous killers and obscure ones, this book was well written, well read, and interesting.
Score: 9/10


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.


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.


Mel’s 5 Second Review: The History of Ancient Egypt

The History of Ancient Egypt (2013)
Written by: Prof Bob Brier
Read by: Prof Bob Brier


Ancient Egypt comes to dazzling life in this 48 lecture course. The lectures cover thousands of years of history, from the rise of the Egyptian empire to becoming the world’s greatest civilization of the time, to the final days of the empire with the fall of Egypt’s most famous queen, Cleopatra. Professor Brier is a good lecturer, if a little repetitive sometimes, but he very clearly loves his work, and it shows big time in the lectures. His passion for the subject is almost contagious. You can’t help but smile as he talks about the long dead monarchs like they were buddies, sometimes even calling them ‘my man’ (ex, ‘my man Snefru’, or ‘our man Ramses’). It was quite amusing, and gave the history a personal touch. If you’re even just a little interested in ancient Egyptian history, I definitely reccomend this course. I give it a wonderful 9.5/10.