Oftentimes the first thing I do when I log onto Audible is check if there is a new story by Alexander McCall Smith. If there is, I always immediately download and by the next two days I have listened to the whole story.
I really love this series because of the delightful characters and the main character's concern on how to live an ethical life with the situations that come up in front of her, rather than a theoretical situation. I think the author, Smith, does this intentionally.
Not to worry if you are not "down" for ethics in good stories! But if you do decide to get this book, I would suggest starting with the first of the series and moving forward.
The narration by Davina Porter is just so gorgeous!
As an aside, it is simply amazing how the author can invent a three-dimensional, new character and bring the reader along to "get it" on the spot.
I hope you do listen to this book and enjoy it.
I took up this book after listening to Zealot by the same author. That was quite a book and very enlightening.
This book on Islam is also enlightening. I was prepared to be disappointed either because the author would be somehow Blind or that the book would otherwise be second-rate.
However, clearly Mohammad was a decent person, and clearly Islam is a legitimate faith and not some mishmash dreamed up more than a thousand years ago.
When Mohammad was alive, he got along just fine with the Jewish folk!
What happened to Islam was the problem of succession to Mohammad. Complexities due to special interests of the original business and government leaders of Mecca and a variety of other groups disputing control affect Islam to this day.
There is a lot of detailed understanding in this book that explains modern Islam such that it can be understood justly. There is an explanation of the Taliban and Al Quaida as a reaction more to Saudi Arabia (and the extraordinary hypocrisy of its leaders' materialism and its extremely strict Puritanical Wahhabi sect of Islam) than to the United States!
Mentioned in passing is that the American Center for Disease Control and the American Type Culture Control (.org on the web) provided the chemical and biological materials used by Saddam Hussein for use on the Iranians to such horrific effect some years ago.
The author Reza Aslan is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The narrator was most excellent.
I had no idea that Robinson Crusoe had more of a life after his first island adventure.
Here he actually revisits his old home in the Carribean, and eventually travels around the world.
The detail Daniel Defoe describes in his travels seem totally real, so real that I have to remind myself that they are fiction.
Here, we have a travelog that is very interesting and written in classic picturesque English, meaning every line evokes a clear picture of the events.
The author's humanity is clearly evident in this book.
This is a worthwhile story, but not so "hot" as Treasure Island. I think the Narrator saved it from making me kind of mad that I bought the book. In the end I recommend this book third in line, "thusly": after Treasure Island, then Kidnapped.
We already have cynical views of perhaps every one of our politicians, particularly those who oppose our personal views.
Now we can rest assured that politicians on "both sides of the aisle" are entirely cynical in their dealings with each other and particularly with the voters.
In today's world, even a terrific loss can be "monetized" to the point that losers such as Generals McChrystal and Petraeus are far better off financially now after being fired from their jobs.
The books is quite humorous, and I highly recommend it.
The amounts of money involved here are extraordinary!
Cicero gives an incredibly concise outline to his brother who is running for office in ancient Rome. The same outline entirely explainsToday's politicians on both sides of the aisle. Clearly people are the same today as then, and must be addressed in the same predictable ways to obtain their vote, help and money.
Perhaps you and I are the exceptions??
I now know how to run for office simply by following Cicero's concise plan. After reading the plan, it all in the execution.
I did not know much about Cicero, but please view his Curriculum Vitae on Wikipedia!
I had no idea. Almost stunning.
I think this book is a great personal experiment: To learn something valuable with 20 hours of dedicated practice after you learn the theory of the project.
I believe this kind of thinking if part of the new way to learn. It is new and in the the tradition recently started by Tim Ferriss in the Four Hour Cookbook and the Four Hour Body.
Both of these authors present a recipe for applying quick learning to any number of subjects.
I had completed listening to this book just prior to the political scandals about the NSA and IRS coming to the surface. This book explains how using so-called computer "algorithms" are used by governments and corporations in our lives.
Nothing we can do to make these things go away!
The best part of the book is the author's work in explaining algorithms and their new place in our world so clearly.
I had not heard Basil Rathbone read/perform poetry. He is famous for his Sherlock Holmes portrayals in olden times, when they had steam engines and movies were all in black and white, don't you know..
But this and the final segment found here on Audible are spectacular and make my flesh all aquiver to be English and to hear such beauty and such a wonderful story.
I find Alexander McCall Smith my dearest author these days. What I appreciate most is his insight into the human condition and relationships.
This book is shorter than most of his works, but it packs the most wonderful exposition on the subject of Love that I have read in a long time.
I recommend this book highly for its touching and particularly meaningful story.
I am continuing to enjoy this series of readings of Marshall Burlingame's biography of Abraham Lincoln.
I had heard that Mary Todd Lincoln was difficult but I did not know HOW difficult. I appreciate the author cited source after source for his description of Mrs. Lincoln because it is almost unfathomable.
The other minor highlight was Lincoln's role in moving the capital of Illinois to Springfield. He also served to get the State of Illinois into debt over its head to the Rothschild family, a debt for canals, roads and other improvements -- a debt so large that Illinois defaulted and finally was able to pay off about 50 years later in the 1880s.
At one point, members of the legislature were so angry with Lincoln that he had to climb through a window to escape their wrath uninjured. It is hard being a lawyer for bankers!
I really appreciate the author's ability to portray Lincoln's astonishing great character and his ability to get others to get along and for himself to get along.
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