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Diana

Member Since 2013

164
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 116 reviews
  • 154 ratings
  • 312 titles in library
  • 172 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
25

  • Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark W. Muesse
    Overall
    (475)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (406)

    Meditation offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being. These 24 detailed lectures teach you the principles and techniques of sitting meditation, the related practice of walking meditation, and the highly beneficial use of meditative awareness in many important activities, including eating and driving. You will also learn how to use the skills of meditation in working with thoughts and emotional states.

    Steven says: "Outstanding introduction"
    "Whew! Hard to pay attention to the speaker"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    because I kept daydreaming while listening to this. Suddenly the day's To Do list became more important, or remembering something that happened, ANYTHING but having to listen to the speaker go on and on . . .

    Because this audio book cost so much, I thought "it must be me . . . keep at it". But, I've bought so many other audio books by now that are interesting and informative and delightful ways to spend my time. This was set aside in favor of other books, many other books.

    I've been trying to get through this for a few months now, tried again today to continue on, and simply gave up and skipped to the end to listen to the last segment in case there was a conclusion.

    The speaker speaks too slowly, and speaks with a tone that I associate with "pompous" (although, strangely, there is a similar speech pattern in author Eben Alexander, MD, but I didn't get the same feeling)

    There were some interesting bits of information, but it was a long wait between, with a lot of words to listen to. The essential information could have been presented in about 2 hours.

    I recently bought The Genie Within, and recommend that for people like me, who just want a teacher or informer of information to just GET TO THE POINT.

    Also, I'm going to avoid any further meditation-related audio books that refer to Budda or anything in the Buddhist tradition. It's starting to bring out the worst in me when I hear one more strange Buddhist short story that's supposed to make me have a light bulb moment - but it's too strange to make out any point. Suddenly my hand shoots up in the air and makes a mouth puppet and I blurt out "Blah, Blah, Blah" and I remember that Indiana Jones scene where some guy was spinning and swirling a sword and Indiana Jones pulled out a pistol and just got the fight over with. Maybe I'm not at a point in "this life" where talking in circles is useful to me.

    This was a waste of money and time. I wonder if it's too late to return this.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Well of Shades: Bridei Chronicles, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Juliet Marillier
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (60)
    Story
    (62)

    King Bridei is a man with a mission. His wish to unite his kingdom seems almost within his grasp but there are forces working to undo his dream. He sends Faolan, his most trusted advisor (who is also a master assassin and spymaster) out into the world to ferret out the truth of who is friend and who is foe. Along the way Faolan will uncover many truths. Some may hold the key to Bridei's future. But more important, they may unlock the secrets that Faolan has held deep within his soul for decades. And offer him the chance of redemption.

    Diana says: "Book 3 of Trilogy the best of all"
    "Book 3 of Trilogy the best of all"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The third book of this trilogy is an enjoyable, fantastic experience. It's a book that envelopes the listener into the story. The second book was good too. But I fear that some people won't get to either book 2 and 3 due to book 1, which was just okay.

    Because there is a lot of "review" of previous back story written into books 2 and 3, a reader that isn't obsessed with reading the complete trilogy might do better just to skip book 1.

    Strangely, with other author's trilogies, usually the first book is really good and the others will not be as interesting, but with this series, the writing got tighter, the plot more intricate, and the characters and story line deeper and more complex. It's a great story.

    A bit of an "ick" factor for me about 2/3rds of the way into the storyline with the choice of the character Ella, and I started to wonder if this series was being written by a man . . .

    I still wish there was a little bit more fine tuning in the description of the environment, physical character appearances or changes, and use of sensory descriptions to make the listener (reader) feel the story, but books 2 and 3 did improve on that in comparison to book 1.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blade of Fortriu: Bridei Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Juliet Marillier
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (82)

    Five winters have passed since young king Bridei ascended the throne of Fortriu. Five years, in which the people have felt a contentment unknown for generations. But the security of a people can vanish in a heartbeat, for wolves are often drawn to fields filled with fattened sheep. Bridei is determined to drive the Gaelic invaders from his lands once and for all. And so, with his land secure and his house in order, he prepares for war. One of Bridei's plans to win the war to come involves the beautiful young Ana. A princess of the Light Isles, she has dwelt as a hostage at the court of Fortriu for most of her young life.

    Diana says: "Second book better than first, on to third book!"
    "Second book better than first, on to third book!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I bought both books on a series sale, and wasn't happy with the uneven quality of the first book, but still considered it a 4 star book.

    The second book in the series has tighter writing, lots of intricate plot lines that weave together, and more sensory descriptions (mostly visual, some sounds, some tactile) than in the first book to help fine tune the mental imagery the reader/listener uses.

    The story is much more complex, interesting, and adventurous. Still lacking or awkward in the wit or humor department. It's great that authors do a lot of research and come up with intricate plot lines, but if an author can write despair and horrible treatment of people or fight scenes, what's wrong with some wit and humor as well in order to balance out the human experience.

    On to book three!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Dark Mirror: Bridei Trilogy #1

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Juliet Marillier
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (161)

    One bitter Midwinter's Eve, everything changes when Bridei finds a child on their doorstep - a child abandoned by the Fair Folk. It is the height of ill fortune to have truck with the Fair Folk, and all in the area counsel the babe's death. But Bridei sees an old and precious magic at work and, heedless of the danger, fights to save the child. Broichan is wary but relents, for Bridei must grow to be his own man and make his own decisions.

    Curtis says: "Great"
    "Story has interesting parts, but also lagged a bit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listening to this story, I realized that most of the time I was "listening to a story" and had not "dived into another world." There is a good foundation here, and a good framework with interesting ideas. But, I kept wondering why I wasn't getting involved in the story.

    After a while I decided that it was a lack of of both reminder and sensory descriptions. Reminder descriptions are the ones I find useful in a long book or one with many characters and sensory descriptions are great for enhancing the experience. There were some in this book, but not enough to fine tune the mental imagery.

    A really good author that enhances the reader's experience with fantastic sensory descriptions is Larry Correia. Dark Mirror was lackluster at points and I had to sometimes back up the audio once I realized I had been thinking about other things while the book was playing. Since this book took so long to get to any points of intersecting plots, some enhanced sensory descriptions would have been great to help hold interest. The book waited until the last hour to pull together some action and meaning to the plot.

    The main characters go through a lot of grief and it would have been nice to have some wit or humor interspersed liberally thoughout the story to give some balance.

    I've already bought the second of the series due to a Sale, but hope the second book gets better in order to decide to purchase the third book of the trilogy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kosmic Consciousness

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Ken Wilber
    • Narrated By Ken Wilber
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    Before the birth of the universe, there existed your Original Face, the limitless Self that has been present throughout the unfolding of inert matter into life - and that continues to dwell within us at every level of consciousness. Where is this grand evolution taking us, and how can each of us participate in it more fully? On Kosmic Consciousness, Ken Wilber invites you to find out. Since the first publication of his groundbreaking ideas at the age of 23, Ken Wilber has sought to bring together the world's far-ranging spiritual teachings, philosophies, and scientific truths into one coherent and all-embracing vision.

    Diana says: "A Framework for Consciousness"
    "A Framework for Consciousness"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This conversation between Tami Simon and Ken Wilber is an interesting listen. There were a few chatty moments that didn't add to the discussion, but overall, this was laden with useful information.

    I really enjoyed those portions that discussed the various methods or organizations that seek to evolve Consciousness through meditation - like TM, Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, the machines, etc. I haven't found enough sources that discuss and compare, usually books are written by people who have picked and are promoting one way.

    This Integral model is complex, yet, by discussing how it works, the meaning of the various parts, a deeply interesting look at humanity, individuals, nations, ideas and Consciousness unfolded and stretched my mind. I've come away from this book with a framework that I can use to "measure" things that are usually intangible. Like motives or self evolution.

    The narration as a light-hearted conversation was delightful, although there was less focus that way, thus there was probably an extra hour of chattiness that added to the time, but perhaps also lessened any eye-glazing mind-numbness too since this kind of topic can be a lot to wade through at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Grave Peril: The Dresden Files, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6985)
    Performance
    (5194)
    Story
    (5186)

    Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden has had a rough couple of weeks. As the only openly practicing professional wizard in the Chicago area, he has squared off against a multitude of supernatural bad guys. Harry has won the day against demons, poltergeists, sorcerers, trolls, vampires, werewolves, and even an evil faerie godmother. You might think nothing could spook him. You would be wrong.

    Lakejewel says: "Spike makes good"
    "Long fight scenes, inner talk, short on plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not every book in a series is going to be as good as the others. This one was lacking and I kept waiting for it to shape up, but . . . nada.

    I'll probably get Book 4 later, but will try another author for now . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Case for the UFO: Unidentified Flying Objects

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Dr. M.K. Jessup
    • Narrated By Jack Chekijian
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Flying saucers are not new! For thousands of years, men have seen mysterious objects in the skies. Now, a prominent scientists proves that unidentified flying objects originate here, on Earth.

    Diana says: "Annoying narration - returning this audiobook"
    "Annoying narration - returning this audiobook"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    35 minutes into this book. Hoped to get used to the strange mechanical, sing-song, pretentious intonation with syllables raised in the strangest places. I give up.

    This strange narration is distracting from what would be interesting information.

    This book is from 1955, and the UFO research done back then is presented differently than that of today, so is of interest.

    Natural speech is always more effective than weirdness. I don't know if someone used some mechanical filtering on this, but even that wouldn't account for the strange inflection of syllables. Narration shouldn't take away from the actual book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Transcendence of the Western Mind: Physics, Metaphysics, and Life on Earth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Samuel Avery
    • Narrated By Andrew Mulcare
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    What is consciousness? This audiobook presents an understanding of life that transcends matter. More importantly, it transcends the difference between what you are and what I am. Despite its reliance on what is known through Western Science, it is a transcendence of the Western understanding of reality. It does not begin with a world and then try to figure out how life evolved within it; it begins with life and extrapolates where the world came from.

    robert says: "Outstanding Wordcraft"
    "Complex, broad, informative, deep information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book I'll have to go back and listen to again. Not for any lack on the part of the author, but because I always have a tough time with physics.

    I'm really interested in metaphysical explanations and seek a greater understanding of consciousness. But it seems the authors of books that explain these things like to start with a lot of physics and some philosophy before getting to consciousness or metaphysics.

    Of course, any good teacher will start with the basics, so apparently an understanding of consciousness means learning about space-time, the speed of light as a constant, protons, neutrons or galaxies, the double-slit experiment and its implications, dimensions, the senses, perception . . .

    The explanations in this book come from another angle, and I appreciate that very much since I struggle so much physics. I grasped only about 50 percent of this book, so I'll go back again as I do return to these books to get a better understanding the next go round.

    The narration is excellent, and if I want to be nit-picky there a few moments that a good editor would have cut out as the reader stopped, and re-read a sentence, probably with the expectation that it would have been edited.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Timothy Egan
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (852)
    Performance
    (492)
    Story
    (494)

    In The Worst Hard Time, Timothy Egan put the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl at the center of a rich history, told through characters he brought to indelible life. Now he performs the same alchemy with The Big Burn, the largest-ever forest fire in America, a tragedy that cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy.

    P. Bergh says: "A fascinating history of early Forest Service"
    "If only history teachers would teach like this"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    History is often too boring. Dates, places, and facts . . . perhaps a little skewed to favor a point of view.

    I love the way Timothy Egan wrote this book through the experiences and recollections and stories of the people. Each person is a thread and each thread is masterfully woven together.

    This is the most exciting non-fiction book I've ever read. Who would have thought that forestry, politics, north-western regional history, immigrants, drunks, whores, settlers, loggers, miners, millionaire industrialists, railroads, Buffalo soldiers, and the largest fire in American history could combine to make for a gripping yet informative tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Eben Alexander
    • Narrated By Eben Alexander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (4)

    The author of the number-one New York Times best seller Proof of Heaven teams up with the sages of times past, modern scientists, and with ordinary people who have had profound spiritual experiences to show the reality of heaven and our true identities as spiritual beings. WhenProof of Heaven was published, some people contacted Dr. Eben Alexander to argue that his near death experience was impossible. But many more have written to say his story resonated with them in profound ways.

    elan says: "Lovely sequel to Proof of Heaven and NDE studies"
    "An organized historical & current overview"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I’ve read a lot of books about the near death experience, reincarnation, consciousness, and the greater reality - some written by people who have graduate physics training but also appear to be mystics. Each book adds to a big picture as I’m seeking to understand what is reality, what is the purpose of life, is there something beyond death.

    What I like about Dr. Eben Alexander’s book is that he has read a lot of the classic or relevant “hard books” and has thought about how they relate to his and others’ consciousness-stretching experiences.

    I know that I too should read Plato, Socrates, Emanuel Swedenborg, and the other authors’ works that Dr. Alexander read and referenced. But I probably won’t, so I do appreciate Dr. Alexander’s distillation of the essential points he found in these books with regard to consciousness and the human experience of life and beyond.

    There is a long introduction to this book, and then it starts with classic philosophy lines of thought, so I was worried that I was going to be bored. Nope. Dr. Alexander reads his own work, with a voice that is easy to listen to and I loved hearing out loud words I’ve often read, but never heard pronounced. That was a bonus!

    Classic writings throughout history and expert opinions on consciousness are the bones of this book, giving those who are scientifically-minded food for thought and places to start reading. Throughout the book are letters people sent to Dr. Alexander after having read his first book, sharing their own experiences. Such letters, with their common points, add to the validity of the existence of a greater reality and flesh out the narrative.

    The logical thought process of Dr. Eben Alexander has helped me to clarify and organize the ideas and experiences read from other books related to the continuation of Consciousness and the existence of a greater reality. This book is a clean and clear introduction and review at the same time. Pleasant and interesting too.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Words of Radiance: The Stormlight Archive, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7688)
    Performance
    (7292)
    Story
    (7314)

    In that first volume, we were introduced to the remarkable world of Roshar, a world both alien and magical, where gigantic hurricane-like storms scour the surface every few days and life has adapted accordingly. Roshar is shared by humans and the enigmatic, humanoid Parshendi, with whom they are at war.

    D says: "Book !!; no let down- "Words of Radieance" shines"
    "Reading this is like being in two worlds at once"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story is told so elegantly that I just plunged into this other world everytime the iPod was turned on. The descriptive details are elegantly and subtly woven into the action and conversation. Of course, an intricate and well-planned plot are much appreciated in any story, but the humor throughout makes this fun. Some laugh out loud moments, but mostly the kind of humor that makes for a smile or grin.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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