I have studied Buddhism in the past and never came close to the understanding I have now through Pema Chodron's teachings. Her ability to translate into a relatable American framework is amazing. This recording is some of her best work as she delves into the heart of Buddhism with humor and authenticity. I listen to her work every day on the way to work and this audio book kept me laughing along with increasing my understanding.
I cannot get through this book. I am so bored. It is like the narrator is just reading the text and there is very little character interaction. Maybe if you are a foodie this would bring you in more but I am only 3 hrs in and I cannot do it anymore. My mind wanders while I listen because it is so slow and uneventful. I tried to stay with it but I did that with the Goldfinch and was really disappointed. So I am not wasting my time.
What can I say about Pema that hasn't already been said? Wonderful woman with great insight and gifted at transmitting the teachings. I like this book because she gives you practical 'to-dos' to go with the teachings. I am currently putting them to work daily.
I am not sure how this book got so many good reviews. While the main storyline in this book is interesting and you do care about the characters - it is way too long!!! The author stops to describe the most minute details that really have no impact on the story. Don't get me wrong - I love detail and descriptions that make you feel like you are there - that you understand the places in the story - but her descriptions were so long and drawn out that they actually pulled you out of the story. I found myself getting very annoyed because the story would finally move along and then we would have to stop and listen to some description that ultimately had no impact on the story. This book could be about 1/3 of its length and be much better. In contrast I think of JK Rowling and how she is a descriptive writer but it never takes you out of the story - her descriptions pull you in further and make her stories more fascinating. Tartt's descriptiveness kept bringing me out of the story as I felt impatient waiting for the very discreet descriptive moments to finally be over. Details should move a story forward - not stop it. There were particularly action filled parts of the story where things would be getting interesting and good and then - full stop to describe some little detail. It was the most frustrating book I have ever listened to. The story was pretty good if not a bit in your face with its message about life. You must have a lot of time on your hands and a lot of patience to read this book.
I was concerned that the subject matter would be very depressing. But the way John wrote it was fantastic! My son read the book first and highly recommended it so I read it. I loved it immediately and could see why my son did as well. I thank John Green for not writing 'down' to young adults and giving them the respect to challenge them with these topics. I am glad Mr. Green is now my son's favorite author!
I believe that we as humans are capable of boundless and endless amounts of love and acceptance and the only thing holding us back are the boxes we place upon ourselves separating 'us' from 'them'. The Dalai Lama expresses the same sentiment and much much more in this book about ethics. He is stating that we need a set of ethics separate from religion. One that all religions can agree with but that does not depend on religion to exist. He believes that these ethics are a natural part of humanity and whether a religious person or not we all have the ability to live an ethical life. I cannot say enough about this wisdom and how well he speaks this truth. This Summer I will be using this book as the core of a curriculum I have created for my teenage son. I want him to understand these principals as he prepares to enter adulthood.
On another note, the narration was a bit funny at first because I have heard the Dalai Lama speak and am also familiar with Martin Sheen. So it took a while to get used to but once I did I think Mr. Sheen did a great job.
I look for books with humor and all the reviews i read said this one had it in spades. When I first started to read the book I was not quite sure what the heck was going on because the author uses notes, texts and emails to move the story - which is quite unusual. But once the story got moving it was wild and fun and fantastic. This story about Bernadette, an awarding winning architect, will have you perplexed one minute and in stitches the next. Her characters are wonderful and take you on quite an amazing journey that I definitely wasn't expecting. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read!
I am so glad that my teenage son recommended this book to me. He was so enthusiastic that I couldn't say no. But little did I expect such an amazing ride. From the 'unique' identity of the storyteller, to the choice of imagery and the performance of the narrator - this was quite an experience.
The story was set in the backdrop of Hitler's Germany and it was profoundly poignant. The story was not about the Nazi's - it was about Leisel Meminger and her life - but you got a sense of how that time in history impacted this little girl who didn't understand what Hitler was all about.
The author was highly adept at creating a mood in the book - from the very first sentence. But I think the fact that it was an audio book enhanced - or intensified- that mood. I think a good comparison is the difference between watching Star Wars on a TV at home or watching it at the movies in surround sound. The audio of The Book Thief was a full experience; and the best audio book I have listened to.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light and easy book to read. I would categorize it as one step up from a romance novel. Its nothing that is going to make you think or challenge you with complicated story lines. But it is the kind of book that is good to take your mind away and just have a bit of fun with. If that is what you are after i think you will enjoy this book and the author's sense of humor.
Rachel Dratch's story is interesting and the behind the scenes information about SNL and other comedians is fun to hear about. But being a comedian I was expecting alot more hilarity. I laughed out loud a few times but that was it. The hardest part for me was the break neck pace at which she narrated. I wanted to yell at her to SLOW DOWN! It was so fast in some places that I think it killed some of the comedy. I think you will really like this book if you are a big Rachel fan or you are in the business yourself. But otherwise I was disappointed with it.
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