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Pradheepa

Member Since 2008

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 211 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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  • Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (663)
    Performance
    (563)
    Story
    (558)

    We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.

    Ryan says: "A catalog of positive innovations on the horizon"
    "A glass three quarter full"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Abundance casts the problems facing our world as technological challenges that must be overcome and shows us how much progress has already been achieved. After listening to this book, the most striking idea I retain is the one of adjacent possibilities. I.e. the invention of the carriage, the car, roller skates etc., became possible, once the wheel had been invented. And the second was how technology dematerializes and de-monetizes many things, for instance, a smartphone makes a camera, a watch, an encyclopedia and many other objects redundant. It was a great listen. The narrator was very good. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who wonders how humans will cope with the many challenges we face.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Snow Child

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Eowyn Ivey
    • Narrated By Debra Monk
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1373)
    Performance
    (1199)
    Story
    (1187)

    Debut novelist Eowyn ivey’s experience living in the Alaskan wilderness brings a palpable authenticity to The Snow Child. Alaska in the 1920s is a difficult place for Jack and Mabel. Drifting apart, the childless couple discover Faina, a young girl living alone in the wilderness. Soon, Jack and Mabel come to love Faina as their own. But when they learn a surprising truth about the girl, their lives change in profound ways.

    Bonny says: "Magical, realistic and well worth listening to"
    "Alaska the Beautiful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was a great book. I loved the setting and the characters. The story started slowly, but by the end, it was like a fast flowing river. I loved the fantasy element. But like many others I found it hard that so many creatures were killed during the course of the book. The moose and chickens in the beginning gave a sense of the desperate state that Jack and Mabel found themselves in, so were OK. But as the book progressed, I wish the author had desisted. From what she said in an interview, I think she had intended Faina to be a real girl, but had been persuaded by her editors and others to be a bit ambiguous. I think that has definitely made the book better. But allowing for Faina to be a true snow maiden, may have given the author greater scope for making Faina to be a protector of the wonderful wildlife of the region. Also, I think that there was no need for the confrontation between Garrett and Jack, even though, the scene was very realistic. But, these are minor quibbles. This is a fantastic book and I recommend it to anyone who loves nature and fairy tales.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1151)
    Performance
    (943)
    Story
    (934)

    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Teddy says: "Excellent Book All Over"
    "Not an easy listen, but worth the effort."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The title clearly summarizes what the book is about. The science was the most interesting part of the book. The statistical analysis of wars, the difference in perspective between victims and perpetrators, the explanation of reduction in violence using the framework of the pacifist's dilemma etc. were very interesting. The historical narrative was hard to listen to because it is hard to come to terms with the violence that is a part of our past. I am glad that violence is coming down, but wish it would decline more rapidly. I hope listeners will better understand how to alter payoffs in order to create conditions that favor peace and do what they can, after listening to this book. Understanding, reason, enlightened thinking and empathy will hopefully reduce unnecessary suffering faster in the future.
    The narration was very good making it easier to finish this long book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Richard Panek
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (588)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (428)

    Over the past few decades, a handful of scientists have been racing to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only four percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every star and planet. The rest is completely unknown. Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of the quest to find this “dark” matter and an even more bizarre substance called “dark energy”. This is perhaps the greatest mystery in all of science, and solving it will bring fame, funding, and certainly a Nobel Prize.

    Adam says: "Excellent survey of Cosmology and Astrophysics"
    "Listen, Learn, Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    One of the best science books I have listened to on Audible. Richard Panek is a master storyteller. I was enthralled by the story of how dark energy and dark matter were discovered and how scientists reluctantly came to accept their existence. The quest to understand the story of our universe: its origin, present and possible future was as engaging as any well written adventure story.
    What I liked best about this book was how it described the rare brush with the ineffable, which is one of the high points of scientific research. Perhaps these sublime moments keep some scientists going despite the many somber episodes of frustration and disappointment.
    Ray Porter's narration was perfect for this book. I would strongly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Winter Ghosts

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Kate Mosse
    • Narrated By Julian Rhind-Tutt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    In the winter of 1928, still seeking some kind of resolution to the horrors of World War I, Freddie is traveling through the beautiful but forbidding French Pyrenees. During a snowstorm, his car spins off the mountain road. Dazed, he stumbles through the woods, emerging in a tiny village, where he finds an inn to wait out the blizzard. There he meets Fabrissa, a lovely young woman also mourning a lost generation.

    Pradheepa says: "Delightful Listen"
    "Delightful Listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A quiet ghost/love story elegantly told by a man stepping out of the shadow of sorrow into the sunshine of hope. It has been beautifully written by Kate Mosse and perfectly narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt, whose sensitive performance allows listeners to thoroughly enjoy the sweet sadness of the tale. The story is about grief and loss, but it is no way gloomy. On the contrary, listening to it is an experience akin to viewing a beautiful winter scene through the window of a cozy, warm room. Sheer pleasure.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Ken Robinson
    • Narrated By Ken Robinson, Lou Aronica
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (675)
    Performance
    (368)
    Story
    (365)

    The Element shows the vital need to enhance creativity and innovation by thinking differently about human resources and imagination. It is an essential strategy for transforming education, business, and communities to meet the challenges of living and succeeding in the 21st century.

    Lori says: "Think and Win!"
    "Balanced though passionately argued point of view"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ken Robinson has spent most of the book providing examples of how people have found the thing they love to do best. And that is good, for it is clear that many times the discovery is serendipitous. What I liked best was the fact that he agrees that what we are passionate about may not be what we should always do to earn a living. I grew up in India where a college education has never guaranteed a job. When I was a child, I once asked my father what I should do, if I didn't enjoy my job. He replied immediately that I should use the money I earned to do what I liked. I hope people love what they do, but being impractical won't always make people happy and finding the Element is about being happy. Also schools should try to provide more opportunities for children to learn using whichever way suits them best and customize lessons, but that is no guarantee that children will know what they wish to do for the rest of their life, when they leave school. They will have to see what kind of needs they will be best suited to fulfill, given their own interests and sometimes there is no obvious match. So, they will just have to take up what opportunities are available and keep looking. What I enjoyed most was how keen Robinson was that people should not be too quick to give up looking for a job that they would enjoy intensely. Good book, good narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Adams

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 1 min)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Nelson Runger
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1939)
    Performance
    (883)
    Story
    (894)

    McCullough's John Adams has the sweep and vitality of a great novel. This is history on a grand scale, an audiobook about politics, war, and social issues, but also about human nature, love, religious faith, virtue, ambition, friendship, and betrayal, and the far-reaching consequences of noble ideas. Above all, it is an enthralling, often surprising story of one of the most important and fascinating Americans who ever lived.

    Davis says: "An outstanding biography"
    "Interesting but slow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A good biography of a great man who lived during interesting times. It was well narrated, but I kept listening to other more fast paced books rather than listening to this one, perhaps because there seemed to be too many direct quotes from Adams. Also, the events leading up to the declaration of Independence were the most fascinating, so much so, that Adam's subsequent activities as Ambassador, Vice President and President seemed less important in comparison, but this is not the author's fault. Abigail Adams was a fascinating character, and I truly enjoyed learning about her. I liked the book, only wished I had not found it slow going at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eloise

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Judy Finnigan
    • Narrated By Anna Bentinck
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Yesterday I almost saw her. I was standing on the sun deck, looking out to sea, revelling in the unexpected warmth of the February sun. A butterfly trembled on a nearby buddleia and suddenly I smelled her perfume.She wasn't there, of course. How could she be when I had seen her lying in her coffin just two weeks ago, the day before she was buried, her casket surrounded by the scented candles she loved? She lay in Cornish ground now....

    Pradheepa says: "Enjoyable"
    "Enjoyable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I began reading this book, I thought it was about the conflict between the rational and intuitive aspects of the mind, in the guise of a ghost story. But, I wasn't exactly right. It isn't a love story either, for the lovers barely spend any time with each other, though they are both fascinating characters. It isn't a story of family life, domestic conflict and its resolution either. But all these elements blend well and the story moves along at a fast clip. The beautiful coastal village where the story is set, is lovingly described. The narration is excellent. I loved the fact that this is a happy story. Trouble hovers like gathering storm clouds, but the storm is exciting and enjoyable in its own way. Unlike 'The Thirteenth Tale', this is not a dark and gloomy tale. If I have any complaint, it is that the behavior of Cathy's husband is unrealistic. It is difficult to believe that he is not concerned about the children's safety at the end. Also, he does not deal with his disagreement with his wife like a man who has enjoyed a long, stable and happy marriage. His approach to protecting his wife's peace of mind isn't convincing either. But, l had a good time listening to this book and would strongly recommend it to others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Glass of Time: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Michael Cox
    • Narrated By Josephine Bailey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (47)

    Nineteen-year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at Evenwood to become a lady's maid to the 26th Baroness Tansor. But she is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l'Orme, to uncover the secrets that her new mistress has sought to conceal and to set right a past injustice in which her own life is bound up. At Evenwood, she meets Lady Tansor's two dashing sons, Perseus and Randolph.

    Laura says: "Satisfying and Engaging"
    "Easy Read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very interesting story. I wanted to visit Evenwood. The narration was very good. The only part that I didn't like was the revelation about Mrs. Battersby. That was just one chapter in a long book. But, I particularly loved the language and the plot twists. Perseus and Esperenza were my favourite characters, but I also liked Esperenza's mistress, the Baroness. I finished this book very quickly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2290)
    Performance
    (1912)
    Story
    (1887)

    Based on Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal's wildly popular course The Science of Willpower, The Willpower Instinct is the first book to explain the new science of self-control and how it can be harnessed to improve our health, happiness, and productivity. Informed by the latest research and combining cutting-edge insights from psychology, economics, neuroscience, and medicine, The Willpower Instinct explains exactly what willpower is, how it works, and why it matters.

    Niv says: "life changing one of the best I read"
    "More than a self help book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had heard that the author had been invited by Google to give a talk. That was why I thought this book deserved a look. The snippet I listened to intrigued me and I bought the book. I am glad I did. It blended some neuroscience, some humor, some practical ideas and anecdotes in a very interesting way. I also found the information very useful. Also, the narration was very good. I had just listened to 'The Ravenous Brain' by the same narrator and was very glad to listen to more brain related material read by him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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