Mini Reviews: Pirates and Dinosaurs and Earth’s Underground

Since moving to almost exclusively working from home since the pandemic closed things down, I’ve found that I enjoy listening to nonfiction audiobooks while I work. Sure, I may not get the full impact while I listen and work at the same time. But somehow it works and is what I need.

There are four books that I want to give snapshot reviews on. I don’t usually review nonfiction or at least I don’t do it very often. However, these still stick out in some way and I wanted to share what thoughts I do have on them.

Titles link to Goodreads.

Black Flags, Blue Waters: The Epic History of America’s Most Notorious Pirates by Eric Jay Dolin

Genre: Nonfiction, History

Page Count: 380

Published:  September 18 2018 by Liveright

Source: Library

The narrator’s voice was a little dry/ monotone but it was the perfect background to listen to while I worked. However, because of that, I can’t say that I remember much, considering the book was really long.

While the history and other related events/people that the book covered was interesting, I was expecting a history focused more on individual pirates rather than a broad view of the laws, different lawmen and navy people, and privateers.

It was one long story about pirates and ships in the Caribbean area when I wanted the history and stories of different famous pirates. I guess I had too high of expectations or something. If you like pirates and history, I would still give it a chance.

The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte

Genre: Nonfiction, Science, History

Page Count: 404

Published:  April 24 2018 by William Morrow

Source: Library

This was a really interesting listen, which may have had some influence on my liking it (rather than simply reading the hardcopy).

If you’re a huge history buff or love dinosaurs, then this book is definitely for you! I always enjoy learning something new, so I liked listening to this one for that reason. I didn’t like the narrator that much in the beginning, so while listening I was always wondering if I would enjoy the book better if I had the physical copy. However, I did warm up to his voice eventually.

Overall, I enjoyed hearing Brusatte’s journey into becoming a paleontologist and about the history and the life of the dinosaurs while they were alive. Even though I don’t consider myself a history buff or a huge lover of dinosaurs, it was well written and the story(ies) all came together really well.

Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane

Genre: Nonfiction, Science, Nature

Page Count: 496

Published:  August 18 2020 by W. W. Norton Company

Source: Library

Robert Macfarlane’s writing and storytelling is on point! It was almost lyrical … something that I don’t find in nonfiction books very often.

While I don’t remember everything, I do remember the feeling while listening to his stories, adventures, and the history behind the places he was visiting and talking about. This feeling of awe and being moved. I could imagine the beauty of the Earth that he was seeing as he told his stories. I look forward to reading something else from him soon.


Have you read any of these? Have you read/ listened to a good nonfiction recently?

2 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Pirates and Dinosaurs and Earth’s Underground

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