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  • gilwilson 3:31 PM on January 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: art garfunkel, existentialism, hippie, , poet, poetry, prose, simon and garfunkel   

    “What Is It All but Luminous Notes from an Underground Man” By Art Garfunkel 

    33931219What Is It All but Luminous
    Notes from an Underground Man
    By: Art Garfunkel
    Narrated by: Art Garfunkel
    Length: 5 hrs and 8 mins
    Release date: 09-26-17
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    Every so often I have to go through a phase of musician biographies and autobiographies.  This time around I picked up the audiobook of Art Garfunkel’s “What is it all but Luminous…”  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I did know I liked Simon & Garfunkel.  One of my first LPs I ever heard was “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme,” it was in my dad’s record collection and I loved the cut “7 O’Clock News/Silent Night.” The sound of the news under the harmonies of Simon & Garfunkel singing “Silent Night” was beautiful yet haunting.  In fact this was the first song I can recall that made my hairs stand on end.

    I later in life followed the career of Paul Simon and loved every one of his albums.  For me Garfunkel kind of just faded away.  I guess he was like the Aquaman of musicians.  (my nerdy readers will get that reference)

    So what did I expect to hear in this?  I’m not really sure. Maybe I was just curious as to what I missed.  Whatever I expected it was not this book.  Being an audiobook read by the author I knew I would be getting it from the horse’s mouth.

    Art Garfunkel not only has a great singing voice, but he also is a bit of a hippie and poet.  I was a bit annoyed by some of this book.   What annoyed me?  Well at times I would just shake it off as him being a pretentious hippie poet.  For example, at the beginning of every single chapter (except chapter 9 for some reason) he would say “Chapter XX or whatever you call them.”  Why?  It was annoying….if you don’t know what to call them then don’t, or if you are such an existentialist that chapters are a composition of the mind don’t call them chapters.  Many books just start a new section without numbers.  Jeez, that was annoying.  But I got over that after about 7 chapters or so and just listened to the content.

    Basically this book is a recap of the author’s life in prose and many times poetry form.  Some of the poetry was a bit “out there” for my taste but I worked through it.  All in all it was still somewhat entertaining, a nice view of his career and life, and finally some of the poetry was quite fun.

    So would I recommend it?  Yes, but only to a select few and with a bit of a warning. Something along the lines of :  “Warning: what you are about to read/hear is the collections of a very artistic mind, the views and opinions expressed may be a bit wordy or over the top in the use of synonyms, but you will be able to pick out a few shiny gems of pure art, while learning about a musician’s life.”

    Publisher’s Summary

    From the golden-haired, curly-headed half of Simon & Garfunkel – a memoir (of sorts): artful, moving, lyrical; the making of a musician; the evolution of a man, a portrait of a lifelong friendship and collaboration that became one of the most successful singing duos of their time.

    Art Garfunkel writes about his life before, during, and after Simon & Garfunkel…about their folk-rock music in the roiling age that embraced and was defined by their path-breaking sound. He writes about growing up in the 1940s and ’50s (son of a traveling salesman), a middle class Jewish boy, living in a red brick semi-attached house in Kew Gardens, Queens, a kid who was different – from the age of five feeling his vocal cords “vibrating with the love of sound”…meeting Paul Simon in school, the funny guy who made Art laugh; their going on to junior high school together, of being 12 at the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, both of them “captured” by it; going to a recording studio in Manhattan to make a demo of their song “Hey Schoolgirl” (for $7!) and the actual record (with Paul’s father on bass) going to number 40 on the national charts, selling 150,000 copies….

    He writes about their becoming Simon & Garfunkel, taking the world by storm, ruling the pop charts from the time he was 16, about not being a natural performer but more a thinker…touring; sex-for-thrills on the road, reading or walking to calm down (walking across two continents – the USA and Europe). He writes of being an actor working with directors Nicolas Roeg (Bad Timing) and Mike Nichols (“the greatest of them all”)…getting his master’s in mathematics at Columbia; choosing music over a PhD; his slow, unfolding split with Paul and its aftermath; learning to perform on his own, giving a thousand concerts worldwide, his voice going south (a stiffening of one vocal cord) and working to get it back…about being a husband, a father, and much more.

    ©2017 Art Garfunkel (P)2017 Random House Audio
  • gilwilson 2:58 PM on January 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: david bowie, drummer,   

    “Spider from Mars: My Life with Bowie” by Woody Woodmansey 

    29772867Spider from Mars: My Life with Bowie
    by Woody Woodmansey
    320 pages
    Published January 3rd 2017 by St. Martin’s Press

    The radio station I work for gave copies of this book away on the air when it was released and I kept wanting to read the book.  Problem was the promotion happens first and all copies were given away on the air.  So eventually I forgot about the book and it slipped from my mind.  A few months ago we were going through the infamous radio station “prize closet” cleaning out and seeing what could still be packaged up and given to listeners.  For some reason there was a solitary copy of the book sitting in the back of the shelves.  I immediately grabbed and said, “hold on to this I want to read this.”

    Being a huge Bowie fan (but then again, who isn’t) I wanted some more insight into the world of Bowie.  The career of Woody Woodmansey covered covers my favorite (and probably many others) era of Bowie’s career.  Woody was one of the Spiders from Mars, this means he was with Bowie during the early 70s on the albums from “The Man Who Sold the World” (1970) through to the album, “Alladin Sane” (1973).  These are some of the best (in my humble opinion) albums of Bowie’s career.

    The book first starts with Woody’s stunted educational career, where his drums soon took over and school was less important.  The tales of how he was somewhat shunned by his parents and living at the top of the stairs in Bowie’s house created a great view into what a true starving artist’s life is like.

    Soon the glam rock era was in full force and the Spiders were having to deal with fame, drugs, and being on the road.  The musicians were creating new music but their individual personal lives were creating little hiccups in their careers that soon led to the demise of the Spiders.  Woody Woodmansey tells these stories in such a candid/casual way that, as the reader, you feel as if you and Woody are just sitting in his living room or at the neighborhood pub and he’s just telling stories.  This makes the book a very fast and easy read.  Fast because you just have to know what happens next, and easy because the flow and structure of the stories are matter of fact with no extra fluff.

    The book also covers the rest of Woody’s career to working with various artists through the years, including Art Garfunkel, all the way to various tributes to Mick Ronson and David Bowie leading up to him being the only surviving Spider.  Woody still tours with his band Holy Holy which is somewhat of a Bowie tribute band.

    Although this book has no big reveals or shocking secrets, it is a nice glimpse into the early 70s music scene.


  • gilwilson 6:17 PM on January 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    “Typhoon Fury” By Clive Cussler, Boyd Morrison 

    34408710Typhoon Fury
    By: Clive Cussler, Boyd Morrison
    Narrated by: Scott Brick
    Series: Oregon Files, Book 12
    Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
    Release date: 11-07-17
    Publisher: Penguin Audio

    If you have never read a Clive Cussler novel, and you like action with a bit of a spy novel,  do yourself a favor and pick one up.  I’d highly recommend one in the NUMA files, Fargo, Dirk Pitt or this,  the Oregon files series.

    The Oregon is a ship run by “The Corporation” which is somewhat of a mercenary branch of the government.  From the outside the ship looks like a run-down merchant ship that could fall apart during the next storm.  On the inside, however, the latest weapons and surveillance equipment are run by a crack team that is ready for any adventure.

    In this case a super serum drug called “Typhoon” was designed to turn soldiers into super-soldiers. (Think Captain America.)  The problem is that this drug was designed by the Japanese and lost to the ages when the Philippines Islands were freed from Japan tyranny in WWII by the U.S.  A Philippine nationalist who believes the country should be under Communist rule has discovered a cache of the drug creating his own army of super-soldiers to take over the country.

    Creating even more of a problem tracking down these super-soldiers is even harder with an approaching category 5 typhoon storm is approaching the Philippines and threatens to hinder the search and the lives of the crew of the Oregon.

    The narrator, Scott Brick, does a great job as always.  I am a huge Scott Brick fan so I will not bother with with my flying the Scott Brick petard.  But he is great!

    Publisher’s Summary

    Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon sail into a perfect storm of danger to try to stop a new world war, in a thrilling suspense novel from the number one New York Times best-selling grand master of adventure.

    Hired to search for a collection of paintings worth half a billion dollars, Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon soon find themselves in much deeper waters. Not only is the vicious leader of a Filipino insurgency using them to finance his attacks, but he has stumbled upon one of the most lethal secrets of World War II – a Japanese-developed drug, designed, but never used, to turn soldiers into superwarriors. To stop him, the Oregon must take on not only the rebel commander but a South African mercenary intent on getting his own hands on the drug, a massive swarm of torpedo drones targeting the US Navy, an approaching megastorm – and, just possibly, a war that could envelop the entire Asian continent.

    ©2017 Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison (P)2017 Penguin Audio
  • gilwilson 4:22 PM on January 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clockwork, , , , , terminator   

    “The Clockwork Dynasty” By Daniel H. Wilson 

    32670125The Clockwork Dynasty
    By: Daniel H. Wilson
    Narrated by: David Giuntoli, Claire Coffee
    Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
    Release date: 08-01-17
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    Take a little bit of Steampunk, mix it in with some mythology, maybe a hint of the Terminator, then take out the steam and use clockwork and you have yourself a new form of sci-fi created by Daniel H. Wilson in “The Clockwork Dynasty.”  Okay, I’m not 100% sure he created this new genre, but, until listening to this audiobook, I had never heard of the premise.

    The story jumps back and forth between present day and the 18th century telling the tale of a “race” of beings created to maybe help mankind.  I say maybe because some of the even further past events that are visited to me seem a little blurred.  I’m hoping this is because Wilson is planning on writing more books in this world he has created.  Each Automaton has a word which guides their actions and even creates some of their personality.  That word is built into their animus that serves as their soul.

    June, a scientist specializing in ancient technology carries an animus with her that her grandfather found after being saved by an automaton on the battlefield in Russia.  While working on a 300 year old doll June soon discovers the underground world and war between the automatons.  She is soon swept into the this world with Peter who once served the Czar.

    The narrators swap chapters depending on what time the action is taking place.  Claire Coffee narrates the modern day events while David Giuntoli narrates the past events and the life of Peter.  The two create a time travel experience through the different voices so the listener is never lost as to when is being discussed.

    Closing out this review, I have to say that the action in this book ranges from robotic sword fights, to a “Come-with-me-if-you-want-to-live” action sequence that makes this book a great adventure.  After rolling through this book and feeling like I had been on the adventure with the two main characters, I had to look more into the world of the author Daniel H. Wilson.

    What first attracted me to the book was the author.  I had read some of his robot books before (e.g. Robogenesis) and knew they were full of adventure.  But what I found out this time around was that he holds a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Masters degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.  Now that’s pretty serious background work.


    Publisher’s Summary

    An epic, ingenious new thriller from the New York Times best-selling author of RobopocalypseThe Clockwork Dynasty weaves a riveting path through history and a race of humanlike machines that have been hiding among us for untold centuries.

    In the rugged landscape of Eastern Oregon, a young scientist named June uncovers an exquisite artifact – a 300-year-old mechanical doll whose existence seems to validate her obsession with a harrowing story she was told by her grandfather many years earlier. The mechanical doll, June believes, is proof of a living race of automatons that walk undetected among us to this day. Ingeniously hidden inside the ancient doll is a lost message addressed to the court of Peter the Great, czar of Russia.

    Russia, 1725: Peter and Elena, two humanlike mechanical beings, are brought to life under the watchful guise of Peter the Great. Their struggle to serve in the court of the czar while blending in and to survive amid those who fear and wish to annihilate them will take Peter and Elena across Russia, Europe, and, ultimately, the centuries, to the modern day.

    The Clockwork Dynasty is Daniel H. Wilson’s masterful new novel. It seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings that live by different principles from humans but ultimately value loyalty. As June learns more about these beings, she is quickly drawn into a fierce battle that has spanned the centuries and will ultimately determine the survival or extermination of this ancient race. Richly drawn and heart pounding, Wilson’s novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisite characters with breathtaking technology – and unmatched action. The Clockwork Dynasty is a riveting breakout novel.

    ©2017 Daniel H. Wilson (P)2017 Random House Audio
  • gilwilson 6:05 PM on December 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    “Mandela: An Audio History” By Nelson Mandela 

    51ky8SyAOCL._SL500_Mandela: An Audio History
    By: Nelson Mandela
    Narrated by: Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Joe Richman
    Length: 1 hr and 17 mins
    Release date: 02-05-14
    ©2004 Original Material © 2004-2014 Radio Diaries, Inc. Packaging © 2014 HighBridge Company. (P)2014 2014 Radio Diaries, Inc

    History told through the use of recorded media.  This unique audiobook gives the listener the feel of the times when Mandela was on trial by giving them the actual recording of the trial.  Not only the trial but recordings of speeches from pirate radio broadcasts and secret tapings.

    Overall I would recommend the listener be a little familiar with Nelson Mandela and what he stood for before listening.  The recordings just jump right in and without apologies punch you in the gut with cold hard facts.  In retrospect it’s hard to believe such times could have existed, but looking at some of today’s headlines, it becomes easier to understand how they did and still do.  Hopefully humanity will get over this ignorance, and maybe these recordings can help.

    I found myself completely drawn in to the story unfolding through these recordings.  The emotions are there but not written, rather the emotions come out as the story unfolds and the injustice becomes apparent.  What I appreciated most was that it was just pure facts left for the listener to comprehend and interpret.

    This should be on every high school listening list.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Audie Award, Audiobook of the Year, 2015

    Recognized as one of the most comprehensive oral histories of apartheid ever broadcast (NPR, BBC, CBC, SABC), Mandela: An Audio History tells the story of the struggle against apartheid through rare sound recordings. The series weaves together more than 50 first-person interviews with an unprecedented collection of archival sound: a rare recording of the 1964 trial that resulted in Mandela’s life sentence; a visit between Mandela and his family secretly taped by a prison guard; marching songs of guerilla soldiers; government propaganda films; and pirate radio broadcasts from the African National Congress (ANC).

    Once thought lost forever, Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman unearthed a treasure trove of these historic recordings in the basement archive of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Ultimately, over 50 hours of archival recordings and many more hours of contemporary interviews with the living witnesses to South Africa’s turbulent history have gone into the creation of one of the most moving audio documentaries ever produced.

    Includes a commemorative 32-page booklet featuring historic photos and a complete transcript of the audio program.

    Download the accompanying reference guide.
    ©2004 Original Material © 2004-2014 Radio Diaries, Inc. Packaging © 2014 HighBridge Company. (P)2014 2014 Radio Diaries, Inc.

  • gilwilson 5:17 PM on December 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    “Finders Keepers” Book 2 of the Bill Hodges Trilogy By Stephen King 

    61AVVMPqnJL._SL500_Finders Keepers
    Book 2 of the Bill Hodges Trilogy
    By: Stephen King
    Narrated by: Will Patton
    Length: 13 hrs and 5 mins
    Published by Simon & Schuster 2015

    Once again Stephen King proves he can write more than just horror.  Retired Detective Bill Hodges, gets another case related to the Mercedes Killer.  It’s funny though, you don’t even hear from Bill Hodges until well into the book, maybe halfway through you finally find what he’s up to.   But that’s what makes this story so good, it stands alone and yet when you, as the reader/listener, hear Hodges make his entry it’s no surprise but a relief that finally someone will help this boy.

    The book is sort of like 3 separate stories that merge into one and become a thriller by the end.   To start out we open with 3 burglars having tied up a famous author, trying to get from him the info on where he stashes his money.  One of the burglars, Morris Bellamy is after more than the money.  The Author, John Rothstein, has written a trilogy which is revered by all (sort of a mix of Salinger and Updike here).  The problem is that Morris Bellamy believes Rothstein ruined the main character in the trilogy.  Bellamy knows Rothstein has written more and is after those stories not just the money.  He murders Rothstein so he can have those stories to himself.

    When Bellamy returns to his hometown (after murdering his partners) he has to hide the cash and notebooks with Rothsteins writings, until things cool down.  Someone who claims to be able to help him move the writings, gets second thoughts and disassociates himself with Bellamy.  This leads Bellamy to go on a drunken blackout bender.  During the blackout he rapes a woman and is thrown into prison for life.

    Jump ahead about 30 years later and Pete Saubers’ father, who was severely injured in the Mr. Mercedes incident (see the book “Mr. Mercedes”) and mother are constantly arguing because due to being injured is not able to work, thus putting the family into financial dire straits.  Pete finds a buried trunk with over Twenty thousand dollars and some Moleskine notebooks with writings from what will soon be his favorite author.

    Pete anonymously sends the money on a monthly basis to his family, and this helps them pull through the tough times with less squabbles.  Everything is going good until his younger sister wants to go to a private school with her friends.  The cash is gone and the family can’t afford to send her to the school.  Pete decides he’s going to sell the books.

    Then the troubles begin.

    One of the most outstanding parts of this audiobook is that the narrator, Will Patton, delivers the story from all points of view flawlessly.  I’ve been a huge Will Patton fan since his role of Colonel Weaver from the sci-fi series “Falling Skies.”  His voice and acting ability make this audiobook a must listen.


    Publisher’s Summary
    A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far – a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes.

    “Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

    Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after 35 years.

    Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life – for good, for bad, forever.

    ©2015 Stephen King (P)2015 Simon & Schuster

  • gilwilson 10:54 PM on December 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    “Wonder Women 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History” By Sam Maggs 

    61ZhFC956AL._SL500_Wonder Women
    25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History
    By: Sam Maggs
    Narrated by: Jodelle Ferland
    Length: 6 hrs and 34 mins
    Published by Random House Audio 2016

    I have an idle curiosity when it comes to history, but I have an eagerness to know what is being passed on to the YA reading world.  So this book was another selection from the SYNC YA summer audiobook program and I gave it a shot.

    The look at women’s history was fascinating, many I had already known and read about through my various journeys through history.   This book not only featured brief biographies of innovators and trailblazers but included interviews with current innovators and trailblazers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).  I’m not sure where spies & espionage fit in to STEM but that section of the book was intriguing.

    I’ll have to say that this book was not written for me in mind.  It is definitely a YA book.  I would say that the perfect target audience for this would be girls aged 10 – 16.  It does provide encouragement for girls interested in the fields discussed.  The hard part was the language.  The book was written in the vernacular of the stated age range and is rather annoying.  Even more annoying was to hear the reader try to vocalize that vernacular, and almost sound like a California Valley Girl from the 80s.



    Publisher’s Summary
    A fun and feminist look at forgotten women in science, technology, and beyond, from the best-selling author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy

    You may think you know women’s history pretty well. But have you ever heard of:

    Alice Ball, the chemist who developed an effective treatment for leprosy – only to have the credit taken by a man?
    Mary Sherman Morgan, the rocket scientist whose liquid fuel compounds blasted the first US satellite into orbit?
    Huang Daopo, the inventor whose weaving technology revolutionized textile production in China centuries before the cotton gin?
    Smart women have always been able to achieve amazing things, even when the odds were stacked against them. In Wonder Women, author Sam Maggs tells the stories of the brilliant, brainy, and totally rad women in history who broke barriers as scientists, engineers, mathematicians, adventurers, and inventors. Also features interviews with real-life women in STEM careers, an extensive bibliography, and a guide to women-centric science and technology organizations – all to show the many ways the geeky girls of today can help to build the future.

    ©2016 Sam Maggs (P)2016 Random House Audio

  • gilwilson 6:18 PM on November 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: darth maul,   

    Star Wars: Maul Lockdown By: Joe Schreiber 

    51TNoNHfUSL._SL500_Star Wars: Maul
    By: Joe Schreiber
    Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
    Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
    Published by Random House Audio (2014)

    I’ve been on a Star Wars audiobook kick for a couple of years now.  It’s funny I’m not a huge fan of Star Wars but I’m having lots of fun with these audiobooks.

    This book takes place shortly before The Phantom Menace, this book is NOT the sequel you might expect. This is a standalone story that has but one objective: to let Maul loose to wreak havoc. Ironically, unleashing Maul means putting restraints on him, and that only seems to make him even more dangerous.

    When those horrid prequels came out there were a few characters I was intrigued by and one was Darth Maul.  Maul just looks cool and with that double sided light saber.  This book gives us a background story to go by and to really get the meat of the matter when it comes to why Darth Maul is Darth Maul.

    Jonathan Davis brings the characters to life with his extraordinary vocal workout.  The book then mixes in sound effects and a handful of classic John Williams musical cues, and you are immersed in the prison trying to escape with Maul.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Set before the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, this new novel is a thrilling follow-up to Star Wars: Darth Plagueis.

    It’s kill or be killed in the space penitentiary that houses the galaxy’s worst criminals, where convicts face off in gladiatorial combat while an underworld gambling empire reaps the profits of the illicit blood sport. But the newest contender in this savage arena, as demonic to behold as he is deadly to challenge, is fighting for more than just survival. His do-or-die mission, for the dark masters he serves, is to capture the ultimate weapon: an object that will enable the Sith to conquer the galaxy.

    Sith lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious are determined to possess the prize. And one of the power-hungry duo has his own treacherous plans for it. But first, their fearsome apprentice must take on a bloodthirsty prison warden, a cannibal gang, cutthroat crime lord Jabba the Hutt, and an unspeakable alien horror. No one else could brave such a gauntlet of death and live. But no one else is the dreaded dark-side disciple known as Darth Maul.

    ©2014 Joe Schreiber (P)2014 Random House Audio

  • gilwilson 5:46 PM on November 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars) By: Renée Ahdieh, Meg Cabot, Pierce Brown, Nnedi Okorafor, Sabaa Tahir 

    From a Certain Point of View (Star Wars)
    By: Renée Ahdieh, Meg Cabot, Pierce Brown, Nnedi Okorafor, Sabaa Tahir
    Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Ashley Eckstein, Janina Gavankar, Jon Hamm, Neil Patrick Harris
    Series: Star Wars
    Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
    Release date: 10-03-17
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    So you’ve seen Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  Maybe you’ve seen the Lucas recuts.  We’ll you still haven’t seen it all.  “From a Certain Point of View” re-tells the original Star Wars movie from the points of view of several other characters in the movie.  This fun revisiting of the movie that started it all combines the original story with some of the fun that was going on in the background.  For example; whether you think Greedo or Han shot first, how did Greedo end up in that cantina looking for Han Solo?  That segment of the movie is told from his point of view and even up to his final words before Solo shoots him.  

    What this book does is take the approximately 2 hour original movie and by looking through the eyes of the other characters gives you a 15 hour seemingly real time adventure.  Everything from the musicians in the Cantina, the Jawas capturing and then selling R2-D2 and C3PO, to even the R5-D4 astromech robot that blew up providing Luke’s Uncle the opportunity to keep R2 & 3PO together work together to bring you the same story but with more fun.

    I totally enjoyed hearing the story told through all the characters in the Cantina and on Tatooine, sometimes the same moment over and over but through different points of view.  A couple of my favorite stories were told by the 2 stormtroopers who knew those were the droids they were looking for but let the old man and kid pass anyway.  Another fun story was one told of the mouse droid who only appeared in the movie for a few seconds in the actual movie only to be scared off by Chewbacca.  That little droid had a great backstory.

    This audiobook was more fun than I had thought it would be, I only hope they can do the same with the other movies.  Maybe then they can make the prequels bearable.


    Publisher’s Summary
    Experience Star Wars: A New Hope from a whole new point of view.
    On May 25, 1977, the world was introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and a galaxy full of possibilities. In honor of the 40th anniversary, more than 40 contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the 40 short stories reimagines a moment from the original film, but through the eyes of a supporting character. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by best-selling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars:

    Gary Whitta bridges the gap from Rogue One to A New Hope through the eyes of Captain Antilles.
    Aunt Beru finds her voice in an intimate character study by Meg Cabot.
    Nnedi Okorofor brings dignity and depth to a most unlikely character: the monster in the trash compactor.
    Pablo Hidalgo provides a chilling glimpse inside the mind of Grand Moff Tarkin.
    Pierce Brown chronicles Biggs Darklighter’s final flight during the Rebellion’s harrowing attack on the Death Star.
    Wil Wheaton spins a poignant tale of the rebels left behind on Yavin.

    Plus 34 more hilarious, heartbreaking, and astonishing tales from Ben Acker, Renée Ahdieh, Tom Angleberger, Ben Blacker, Jeffrey Brown, Rae Carson, Adam Christopher, Zoraida Córdova, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Paul Dini, Ian Doescher, Ashley Eckstein, Matt Fraction, Alexander Freed, Jason Fry, Kieron Gillen, Christie Golden, Claudia Gray, E. K. Johnston, Paul S. Kemp, Mur Lafferty, Ken Liu, Griffin McElroy, John Jackson Miller, Daniel José Older, Mallory Ortberg, Beth Revis, Madeleine Roux, Greg Rucka, Gary D. Schmidt, Cavan Scott, Charles Soule, Sabaa Tahir, Elizabeth Wein, Glen Weldon, Chuck Wendig
    Narrated by a full cast, including:

    Jonathan Davis
    Ashley Eckstein
    Janina Gavankar
    Jon Hamm
    Neil Patrick Harris
    January LaVoy
    Saskia Maarleveld
    Carol Monda
    Daniel José Older
    Marc Thompson

    All participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book – a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies’ longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House has donated $100,000 to First Book, and Disney/Lucasfilm has donated 100,000 children’s books – valued at $1 million – to support First Book and their mission of providing equal access to quality education. Over the past 16 years, Disney and Penguin Random House combined have donated more than 88 million books to First Book.
    ©2017 Renée Ahdieh (P)2017 Random House Audio

  • gilwilson 5:33 PM on November 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    You Are the Universe Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters By: Deepak Chopra MD, Menas C. Kafatos PhD 

    30211502You Are the Universe
    Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters
    By: Deepak Chopra MD, Menas C. Kafatos PhD
    Narrated by: Kaleo Griffith
    Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
    Release date: 02-07-17
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    If you have never read a book by Deepak Chopra you owe it to yourself and your state of mind to do so.  He has a way of reducing life’s most difficult hurtles into a super simplistic and manageable view, which in turn allows you to solve nearly every problem that will ever come up.  I’ll never forget the time I was reading one of his books (not sure which one) but Dr. Chopra was talking about the concept of time and how your body deals with it.  As an exercise he had the reader perform a breathing exercise and think about slowing down time.  I thought what the heck, so I tried it and as my breathing became more controlled I could watch the second hand on a clock slow down.  After doing this for a few seconds and watching the second hand get slower and slower I stopped and almost immediately snapped back into real time.  That was the moment I was sold on the teachings of Deepak Chopra.

    The thing is, with all of Chopra’s books he has a way of not only explaining in terms anyone can understand and work with, but he also provides scientific proof of everything.  This time around he teams up with physicist Menas Kafatos and they explore all of the questions of the universe.  The questions become answered and our place in the universe is pin-pointed.  No matter what religious beliefs you come from even god is in the picture of sorts.

    On top of enjoying Chopra’s works, I have also been a fan of physics. Not so much that I chose to make it my career, but enough to study in college as much as I could while still entertaining my other 3 majors.  I’ve always felt that physics will provide the answers to all.  In this book Chopra and Kafatos set out to prove that and as they do explain why humanity is not only a part of the universe but that each individual human is the universe.

    Yeah it can be argued that there is some philosophy in all this, but any good physicist has some basis in philosophy and any good philosopher is on the verge of understanding physics.

    Gain control of your own personal reality and give this book a listen/read.

    Publisher’s Summary

    New York Times best-selling author Deepak Chopra joins forces with leading physicist Menas Kafatos to explore some of the most important and baffling questions about our place in the world.

    What happens when modern science reaches a crucial turning point that challenges everything we know about reality? In this brilliant, timely, and practical work, Chopra and Kafatos tell us that we’ve reached just such a point. In the coming era, the universe will be completely redefined as a “human universe” radically unlike the cold, empty void where human life is barely a speck in the cosmos.

    You Are the Universe literally means what it says: Each of us is a co-creator of reality extending to the vastest reaches of time and space. This seemingly impossible proposition follows from the current state of science, where outside the public eye, some key mysteries cannot be solved, even though they are the very issues that define reality itself:

    • What came before the big bang?
    • Why does the universe fit together so perfectly?
    • Where did time come from?
    • What is the universe made of?
    • Is the quantum world linked to everyday life?
    • Do we live in a conscious universe?
    • How did life first begin?

    “The shift into a new paradigm is happening,” the authors write. “The answers offered in this book are not our invention or eccentric flights of fancy. All of us live in a participatory universe. Once you decide that you want to participate fully with mind, body, and soul, the paradigm shift becomes personal. The reality you inhabit will be yours either to embrace or to change.” What these two great minds offer is a bold new understanding of who we are and how we can transform the world for the better while reaching our greatest potential.

    ©2017 Deepak Chopra (P)2017 Random House Audio
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