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Doug

Retired teacher of literature with an interest in religion and in science and in history. I have loved reading for 50 years.

Columbus, NC, United States | Member Since 2004

362
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 54 reviews
  • 178 ratings
  • 644 titles in library
  • 26 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
13

  • Misquoting Jesus

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated By Richard M. Davidson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1915)
    Performance
    (1103)
    Story
    (1107)

    When world-class biblical scholar Bart Ehrman first began to study the texts of the Bible in their original languages he was startled to discover the multitude of mistakes and intentional alterations that had been made by earlier translators. In Misquoting Jesus, Ehrman tells the story behind the mistakes and changes that ancient scribes made to the New Testament and shows the great impact they had upon the Bible we use today.

    R. J. Monts says: "a (mostly) balanced discussion"
    "Compelling scholarship"
    Overall

    Ehrman came to this subject with all the right credentials as a formerly-fundamentalist Christian who became educated via the best universities and who slowly realized through research in the original documents of Christianity that the story he was told in church before becoming a learned scholar is not based on documents that tell a consistent tale. He explains how the Christian bible is filled with errors caused by the failures of those who copied the documents through the centuries before (and after) printing presses came to be. His explanation is rational and welcome, at least to me, an educated person who does not read Greek but who wants to know what the bible really says and means....and if it is to be taken as the literal word of God. After listening to this book twice and buying the print copy to study, I have concluded that there is both more and less to the Bible than the fundamentalists say...although I guess I knew that all along.

    Ehrman's book is compelling, interesting, and essential to seekers who are tired of the voodoo and scare tactics of a certain type of "religious" person in American society who is to be found literally everywhere in the country.

    38 of 55 people found this review helpful
  • The Problem of Pain

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By C.S. Lewis
    • Narrated By James Simmons
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (73)
    Story
    (76)

    "If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?" And what of the suffering of animals, who neither deserve pain nor can be improved by it? The greatest Christian thinker of our time sets out to disentangle this knotty issue. With his signature wealth of compassion and insight, C. S. Lewis offers answers to these crucial questions and shares his hope and wisdom to help heal a world hungering for a true understanding of human nature.

    Doug says: "Not the usual treatment of the subject"
    "Not the usual treatment of the subject"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lewis has some interesting things to say about the problem of pain, and what he says is not the same old story that you hear from other thinkers. Parts of his argument really struck me as quite satisfactory, and parts not...but if I read the written version and study it maybe I will have a better grasp on what Lewis has in mind. It is a very stimulating book to say the least. It will make you think!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Two-Penny Bar: Inspector Maigret, Book 11

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Georges Simenon
    • Narrated By Gareth Armstrong
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In this new translation of Simenon's twisted tale, a forgotten crime comes to light in the Parisian summer. The sunshine almost as thick as syrup in the quiet streets of the Left Bank...there are days like this, when ordinary life seems heightened, when the people walking down the street, the trams and cars all seem to exist in a fairy tale. A story told by a condemned man leads Maigret to a bar by the Seine.

    Doug says: "Not the best Maigret"
    "Not the best Maigret"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story was a little hard to follow in the beginning. Toward the end it picked up and had a satisfactory conclusion.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Luther's Theology of the Cross: Martin Luther's Theological Breakthrough

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Alister E McGrath
    • Narrated By Dave Giorgio
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (3)

    This book presents the most detailed examination in English to date of Luther's theological breakthrough, together with a wealth of information concerning the theological development of the young Luther in its late medieval context.

    Jacobus says: "You need to know Latin to follow it"
    "Buy the hard copy..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This audiobook is very hard to follow. You should buy the paper version if you want to read it because you will understand it far more by reading some parts over and over again. And there are foreign languages...especially Latin...used without translations. I love audiobooks and I love theology...but in this book, the two do not mix very well. And the final kicker...the author does not really talk about the subject of the title until the last chapter!!! All the rest is background history...lots of it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Jeffrey Long, Paul Perry
    • Narrated By Bob Dunsworth
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (154)
    Performance
    (137)
    Story
    (138)

    Evidence of the Afterlife shares the firsthand accounts of people who have died and lived to tell about it. Through their work at the Near Death Experience Research Foundation, radiation oncologist Jeffrey Long and his wife, Jody, have gathered thousands of accounts of near-death experiences (NDEs) from all over the world.

    geoff says: "comprehensive"
    "A very good review of near-death experiences"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    How does a person born blind come back from a near-death experience and report having "seen" things....very curious....The best recommendation I can give this book is that after listening to it, I bought a paperback copy and read it the traditional way, and then pressed my friends into reading it. The arguments are very compelling if not convincing....Dr. Long has researched this phenomena since 1998....he has a lot of data that suggests that the NDE is not the result of a brain fooling a person. Well worth a look.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Yellow Dog: Inspector Maigret; Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Georges Simenon, Linda Asher (translator)
    • Narrated By Gareth Armstrong
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Georges Simenon's gripping tale of small town suspicion and revenge, part of the new Maigret series. There was an exaggerated humility about her. Her cowed eyes, her way of gliding noiselessly about without bumping into things, of quivering nervously at the slightest word, were the very image of a scullery maid accustomed to hardship. And yet he sensed, beneath that image, glints of pride held firmly in check. She was anaemic. Her flat chest was not formed to rouse desire.

    Doug says: "Maigret, the great detective, WILL prevail..."
    "Maigret, the great detective, WILL prevail..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The good and wise detective once again shows his talents as he solves a case involving betrayal that leads to murder...multiple murders. The yellow dog in the title seems always to be around when blood is spilled...but the dog did not do it...so what is his role? The book is easy to listen to and easy to follow. I listened while working out at the gym and had no trouble keeping up with the story line. And the story has a satisfying ending...with Maigret and his pipe and his wisdom once again on display. Oh, and there is some sex thrown in for those who like a little sex with their violence.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Death of a King: The Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Year

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Tavis Smiley, David Ritz
    • Narrated By Tavis Smiley
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    New York Times best-selling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations - denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few - all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.

    Doug says: "Sad but compelling...."
    "Sad but compelling...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The last year of King's life was overfull of hard times....both enemies and friends criticized him relentlessly. He began his campaign against the war in Vietnam, and the president who had helped Blacks gain civil rights was astounded because suddenly King was opposing him. So he fought back. And many of King's supporters and friends were adamantly opposed to King dividing his focus by taking on the war while still seeking equality for Blacks. King was under constant stress...at times he wept...at times he thought of quitting his work at the national level and retiring to a little church in the South, or even accepting an invitation to a church in the UK. Thoughts of death as well as threats of death were constantly with him. The story of his last year is one of a man pushing the boulder up the hill and suffering for every inch. It is a sad story, but it is a compelling story. Maybe we all need to know the story in order to fully honor King. The book is read by the author and he does an excellent job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Captain Stormfield Goes to Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Don Randall
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Twain's favorite parlor tale, Captain Stormfield Goes to Heaven, presents an entertaining version of the afterlife, full of the humor and irony we have come to expect from this master of American letters.

    Tad Davis says: "A missed opportunity"
    "It's Twain....so, it is funny!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A humorous and entertaining tale of a newly deceased sea captain as he sails to heaven...through space with all of Twain's creative and hilarious descriptions of what is out there....and to the gates of Paradise, which again is Twain's own special creation...a place of surprises but no disappointments. While the story does cause a reader/listener to think and to reconsider his own thoughts about the afterlife, the best quality of the story is that it will make you smile...or even chuckle...or maybe laugh, depending on your own disposition. It certainly did all of those to me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Charles Marsh
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    In the decades since his execution by the Nazis in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor, theologian, and anti-Hitler conspirator, has become one of the most widely read and inspiring Christian thinkers of our time. Now, drawing on extensive new research, Strange Glory offers a definitive account, by turns majestic and intimate, of this modern icon.

    Doug says: "Excellent life of Bonhoeffer"
    "Excellent life of Bonhoeffer"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have read books about Bonhoeffer previously, but this one is different...some how Marsh makes the man seem more alive, more real than other books have done. Bonhoeffer is more interesting than I had thought. One feels he gets to know a real person, a person he would like to know and a person who has victories and defeats just like we all do. Detailed and personal, the story is very informative but does not sound academic...it is just a well told story of a very talented man from a very exceptional family...a man who in the end showed that what he preached he practiced....by putting his life on the line for the faith he believed in and lived...and by losing his life on earth to the evil Nazi power he struggled against. Along the way much of Bonhoeffer's theology is explained in ways that are understandable and enlightening. This book is a well-told story of an exceptional and interesting man. One of the best biographies I have read lately. The narrator does a very good job....so good that you forget that you are listening to a performance...it is more like a good chat by a skillful speaker.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • America and Americans and Selected Nonfiction

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By John Steinbeck
    • Narrated By Henry Strozier
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    More than three decades after his death, John Steinbeck remains one of the nation's most beloved authors. Yet few know of his career as a journalist who covered world events from the Great Depression to Vietnam. Now, this original collection offers a portrait of the artist as citizen, deeply engaged in the world around him. In addition to the complete text of Steinbeck's last published book, America and Americans, this volume brings together for the first time more than 50 of Steinbeck's finest essays and jouralistic pieces.

    Doug says: "Really good Steinbeck journalism.....no kidding!"
    "Really good Steinbeck journalism.....no kidding!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The title of this book kept me from reading it for many years even though I love Steinbeck. The title suggested that the book was a vapid piece of bragging about what a wonderful place America is....well, I do not disagree that America is wonderful and great, but I did not want to hear my beloved Steinbeck doing some kind of Readers Digest puff piece on America. Wow! Was I wrong! This book is great Steinbeck writing....nothing short of his usual perceptive and feeling prose. It reminds me a bit of Travels with Charley in that this book is non-fiction and a report on the state of American and Americans during the fifties and sixties mostly, with some World War II stuff added. One or two pieces are among the last of Steinbeck's last writings....the essays on Vietnam deal with his trip to that county during the war in 1967, and Steinbeck died less than two years later. His mature, late-life writing is simply great, as indeed most of his work was from at least 1939 forward. Thank God I took a chance on this book....good Steinbeck prose is as good as any prose ever written, and there is very good stuff here. Finally, much of what he includes here is humorous, very reminiscent of some of Twain's journalism with tongue in cheek, such as his Innocents Abroad or Roughing It. Listen and enjoy! (PS...the narrator is excellent, the sound quality excellent also)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Mark Twain
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (31)

    Mark Twain's complete, uncensored Autobiography was an instant best seller when the first volume was published in 2010, on the centennial of the author's death, as he requested. Published to rave reviews, the Autobiography was hailed as the capstone of Twain's career. It captures his authentic and unsuppressed voice, speaking clearly from the grave and brimming with humor, ideas, and opinions. The eagerly awaited second volume delves deeper into Twain's life, uncovering the many roles he played in his private and public worlds.

    Tad Davis says: "Magnificent"
    "Excellent humor...with invective and pathos"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Volume II of this new autobiography is better organized and easier to read than Vol I was...and it is very very humorous. Twain rips apart those who wronged him, as he saw it. No one can destroy an enemy with such fun as Twain does. But he also praises friends like General Grant and tells about Grant's dying days as the general writes his memoirs and Twain sets up a publishing house just to publish Grant's work. And when Twain launches into his critique of the Old Testament and the character of the god described in it, you will laugh regardless of your religious convictions or lack thereof. Twain says things everyone has thought but he says those things in ways that are both humorous and dead-on to the point. Like the old phrase: what oft was thought but never so well expressed.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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