Saturday, February 9, 2013

Two star audiobooks

title: Roman snail; source:; taken by:Magnus Rosendahl
Sometimes you find pearls in the mud, sometimes it's the other way around. So far, I have found many great audio books at audible. Yet, there are some that I regret purchasing (well maybe regret is too strong a word). Here are four books that I cannot rate higher than two stars.

Love and sex with robots by David Levy

I admire Mr. Levy because he's the hero of the famous Levy bet. Since then he has been an expert in artificial intelligence. In this book he presents what may become the biggest wave in the field ever. Although the theme is alluring, the book ends up being too dry and not very appealing. Oh, and it may be outdated very soon as new technological developments unfold.
Still, it may be worth a read only if you have special interest in the area.

Coal by Freese

Nowadays there seems to be a plethora books that try to unearth the fascinating stories behind the mundane like Mary Roach's Stiff or Bryson's At Home. On the whole, and in my opinion, this has proved to be a fertile field with many nice titles out there. Coal is not one of those. It relates the story of this important energy source but in the end it doesn't rise above ground by much and remains boring. I mainly blame the writing which reads more like a Chamber of Commerce briefing than a spellbinding account of the topic.

Selling the fountain of youth by Weintraub

This book is not an account of the beauty cream industry as one might surmise from the cover art. It is rather an exposé of the unregulated anti-aging industry. The seemingly unending stream of ploys and cases makes me wish, for once, to have purchased the abridged version… Oh wait, just checked; there is no abridged version. Once more, it might be of interest if you are involved to the subject matter in some sort or fashion; say, if you're a doctor, regulator, patient or family member of a patient; otherwise, it is better to spend your credits on something else.

The new new thing by Michael Lewis

This one presents us the story of Jim Clark, the founder of Silicon Graphics and Netscape. One expects to get a closer look at a critical period of the information age out of this book. It somewhat delivers, but the central figure is unlikable and the book spends too much time relating the antics of his computerized yacht. Better than the other three, but just barely.


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