This was a valuable book that I may later re-read. The author, Brene Brown, relates various fears, such as the fear of failure and the fear of rejection, to the overriding emotion of shame. I found most of her ideas to be well presented and on point.
The author doesn't venture much into religion, but where she does, she doesn't commit to anything, she just has a very vague view of how that fits into her world view. I didn't agree with her vague views and found them distracting in relation to the rest of the book. She sounded like she was tryng too hard to not offend anyone to present a real perspective on the spiritual aspect of the human experience.
She did, however, provide a clear explanation of just how the fear of shame impacts and even creates a lot of the other emotions that account for many of our actions. I've actually never heard an author address this topic in this way, and I found it refreshing to hear such a frank discussion of such an important aspect of our existance that we would rather forget about. Ms. Brown reminds us that facing shame and our fear of it can free us to be brave and to forgive ourselves enough to experience joy.
The narrator has such a wonderful voice for this type of book. She is simultaneously encouraging and calming. Her voice is sweet with a natural cadence that keeps you engaged. I listened to the book at a speed of 1.5 and found Lauren Fortgang's performance to be perfect.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has a problem with the fear of failure and rejection or who feels that no matter what they do, they are somehow doing the wrong thing and missing out on life. It won't, of course, address every problem in life, but you might gain some perspectve that will help you to see some of your problems in the light of how you relate to shame, and that might help you to make better decisions. After all, isn't that the most one can expect out of a self-help book? Just don't take her vague religious ideas too seriously.
This is quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. The first hour is somewhat interesting. The middle is boring. The end is horrible and anti-climactic.
Peter Berkrot was a decent narrator. There just wasn't much for him to work with, here. The book begins with the death of a man in a house. The man's father had been found dead in the same house many years ago on the same day of the son's death, which makes the two deaths seemingly connected. The rest of the book is spent on boring journal entry after boring journal entry and boring interview after boring interview. I kept thinking..."it will get better." It only got worse. The last hour or so is pure smut with a really boring ending.
Save your money, your time, and your credits for something with a plot.
I love the Monk series. It's fun, entertaining, and clean. Lee Goldberg writes so well that these books can stand alone or work as an addendum for those who enjoyed the television series.
Mr. Monk is Miserable finds Mr. Monk in France with Natalie. Naturally, he solves a murder while attempting to clean up Paris. This is a great book if you need a good laugh or if you just want something light to take your mind off of things.
Laura Hicks did a decent job with the narration, but I thought it could have been better. That may be unfair of me, as I tend to compare her voice with that of the television character's voice. I found her voice a little grating and sing-songish at times, especially when it came to performing the voices of other characters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. May Lee Goldberg write books forever!
I love hearing Jayne Entwistle's voice and I enjoy Flavia's character. Thus, I keep reading these books hoping that there will be another one that lives up to the first in the series. Sadly, this one doesn't.
Nothing exciting happens until chapter 11 (there are 22 chapters), and when it does, the action is far too spaced out to keep me really interested.
I can't say enough about Jayne Entwistle's talent. She is a wonderful narrator and she was the perfect pick for these novels.
There was nothing particularly gory or disturbing about this one, but there were some expressions that might offend Christians. I did not appreciate the use of the phrases, and this will probably be my last Flavia book.
John MacArthur is a well-respected Christian author. Maybe I just haven't read his best work, yet, but I find him to be very dry, discouraging, preachy, and overly critical of people who have very real addictions or illnesses. Forgiveness was mentioned and explored, but it was in terms of something like "Repent now or you will get sick and then you will go to Hell."
Don't misunderstand me. I agree with the author that there are people who claim that their sins are addictions or some sort of mental illness when, in fact, they are making excuses for their sins. I also agree that there are people in this world who are overmedicated and misdiagnosed. I believe that you should call sin what it is and deal with it with the Lord, and if you don't, you will suffer consequences. However, saying that Alcoholics Anonymous just enslaves people by calling them addicts, suggesting that there is no such thing as an addiction, and insisting that most illnesses should be cured by prayer is reckless at best.
He comes dangerously close to calling for faith healing and he offers no real encouragement for people who deal with addiction or illness. Again, I am a Christian. I have read the Bible. I know that it is abosolutely necessary for people to come to God with their sins through Jesus Christ. I also believe in mercy and compassion and the fact that God gave us doctors and medications He expects us to make us of as necessary.
The narration, however, was superb. Maurice England is one of my favorite narrators. I remembered his voice from Cats in the Parsonage. By the way, that would be a better, more encouraging book. It's a shame his talent was wasted on something like this.
This is not a bad book about nutrition, it's just not that original. Most of it is a sermon about how vegetarianism or, at least, about how limiting the amount of meat you consume will solve all of your health problems. There are also sermons about why the use of antibiotics is evil and about why multivitamins are useless at best.
I agree with some of Joel Fuhrman's ideas. However, I didn't find this to be the "breakthrough program" that it is advertised to be. The best points are that it comes with a long PDF with good information and recipes, I thought he did a good job of addressing "superfoods", and he did a decent job of addressing supplements.
As to the bad points, there were quite a few. He advises against antibiotics for almost any reason, which I find to be dangerous, especially for children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems. Ditto for vaccinations, although he makes a decent case for being cautious about them. He also advises against seeing your doctor except in dire circumstances. In my experience, if I wait for the dire circumstance, I may not be able to get to a doctor. I also found some of the information about vitamins and supplements to be suspect, at best.
It's not a bad choice for someone who needs more encouragement to eat more fruits and vegetables or for someone interested in dietary supplements and "superfoods", but there are better books about nutrition out there that would give you better information. My recommendation is the nutrition audiobook offered by The Great Courses.
As to the narration, I have noticed a lot of horrible reviews about Ned Sparrow's performance. I thought his performance was perfectly adequate. I wouldn't want to hear him read Shakespeare, but for a health and wellness book, he did fine. I listened at a speed of 2x, so maybe that made him sound better.
Overall, for a medium-length book about nutrition, it could have been a lot better, but if you choose to buy it anyway, be sure to download the PDF.
Corrie ten Boom, for those who don't know, is a Holocaust survivor and a highly respected Christian speaker. This book details various occasions in her ministry when someone offered or needed forgiveness and found peace.
Nadia May did a beautiful job of the narration. She has a Dutch accent to match Corrie's and I found her tone to be very calming.
Corrie ten Boom writes in such an humble manner with such simplicity that this book would be easy to understand for a beginning Christian. It was a great source of encouragement for me and a reminder that I should always seek to surrender more of myself to God. It would not be reaching to say that I will remember some of these stories for the rest of my life.
My favorite part of the book was when she compared the Bible to chocolate. You'll have to read it to really understand the comparison, and you won't regret that you did.
This book is an exploration of why a good God would allow for pain and suffering. It is not an easy book to listen to because Lewis explores the merits and fallacies of various theological ideas about the topic, which requires some foreknowledge of theological terminology and concepts. Because of this, I don't know that I would recommend this book for a new Christian. It is not that a new Christian could not benefit from it, but the vocabulary may cause a great deal of frustration.
This is one of the few books where I can say that I thought the first half was better than the second half. In the first half, the reality of pain is discussed as it relates to the nature of God. In the second half, Lewis begins exploring various beliefs on the subject of pain, and I thought he tended to wander a bit off topic at times and contradict himself. For example, in chapter nine, he discusses pain as animals experience it. One second, he says we can't really know about their pain or their immortality and the next he conjectures that the reference to the lion and the lamb lying down together in heaven was probably a common analogy of the time and shouldn't be taken literally, implying that animals probably do not possess immortal souls. I believe he overlooked quite a few verses in the Bible that imply otherwise. I deducted an "overall" star for that.
The narrator would have been a good narrator for a Shakesperean play but not for a C.S. Lewis book. Lewis had an off-the-cuff style and most narrators of his books reflect that. James Simmons' style was anything but off-the-cuff. He made it sound more like a lecture than like Lewis reading his own work. It's not that he's a poor narrator, it's just that a narrator with a more relaxed tone should have been chosen.
Overall, there are certain ideas that I will take with me from this book that I believe will help me in my moments of pain. I knew intellectually that God does not allow pain without reason, but the explanations of God's character relative to reasons he might allow for suffering will be something that will help me to emotionally understand Him. I would listen to this book again (or at least the first half) and I would recommend it to anyone who wonders why a good God allows bad things to happen to good people.
Alan Bradley excels in descriptive writing. There were times that I felt I was there, with Flavia, in the middle of a mystery. The problem was that it was not a good mystery. I really didn't like the story or the ending.
The character development was good, and this novel could have been converted into a drama, but the story line for the mystery, itself, meandered too much along the way going nowhere in particular until I lost interest.
The only reason I finished this one is because Jayne Entwistle's narration is so good that I just like to hear her read. She is an incredibly talented narrator who shines when she narrates different characters. She makes their voices and cadence very different each time, and she always adds drama to the plot with her intonations.
Overall, unless you're like me and you just like to hear Jayne Entwhistle reading something, skip this one.
This is my second Lysa TerKeurst book, and I was not disappointed. She is a very real and truthful person. She doesn't hide behind "spiritual" terminology or try to pretend that she has all the answers or has found all the answers. She speaks as an ordinary woman going through the throes of emotion as it comes at her throughout her day and her life.
She has really good suggestions for dealing with disappointments such as telling yourself, "Even if this happens, it will still be a good day." I liked the practical suggestions, but what I liked most is that she points us to God as a loving, understanding parent, confidant, friend, counselor, and example. Most authors don't get all of these attributes of God accross as well as she does.
This is a great book for a 15-minute listen! The story moves very fast, and Ben Stiller's narration could not have been better. I may actually watch the movie (I don't usually do that). There are two movies about this one, by the way - a 1947 version starring Danny Kaye and the 2013 version released on December 25th.
Ben Stiller really brings Walter Mitty, a guy who lives a boring life and dreams of an exciting one, to life, and adds a lot of energy to the story in his performance of the various characters in the book.
This was a freebie, but having heard it, I would pay something for it.
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