I loved the abridged version so much I just had to get the unabridged version when it became available. The abridged version is a very good abridgement, probably contains enough detail for most, and Bill Bryson's narration of it is the icing on the cake for sure. The unabridged version offers a fuller explanation of many points and so exposes the listener to more stories and Bryson wit which is always enjoyable. Richard Matthews does a great job narrating although he's not exactly Bill Bryson, he's sounds a lot like him and is a good second choice. If you can't get enough of Bill Bryson, you're best bet is the unabridged version. You won't get bogged down with unnecessary scientific detail--it's all very enjoyable listening. If you just want to learn about the subject quickly, the abridged version is lots of fun.
This was a light read and at times a little funny. I didn't really appreciate the narration but my biggest complaint was that the question remained unanswered. I agreed with the author's thoughts on homosexuality but not too much more. If you're looking for answers, this isn't the book. If you want some laughs about religious matters, then it will work.
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I found every chapter fascinating and have listened to it several times. I even bought a hard copy of the book. I love the way the author made use of much of the research on behavior published in Scientific American Mind each month to formulate ideas to improve society. This is very cutting edge. Some may call it liberal but they lack an understanding of how the human mind really works. We don't have as much free will as we'd like to think and society's problems aren't just caused by people's laziness. I thought the author had some very workable, intelligent ideas. I only wish our decision makers would take the time to read and understand this book.
This is one of the best audio books I've listened to in a while. Excellent writing, wonderful narration, and a terrific story.
The author provides a good perspective on how mental health affects lives and how one person can make a difference in someone's life.
It will tug at your soul, stretch your heart and bring tears to your eyes.
This book was a joy to listen to. The author provides different perspectives on how family life is effected by a seriously ill child. When everything revolves around the sick one, the other children must make do with the remains. The choices this situation presents are difficult for all, yet they have to be made.
I think anyone who has a chronically ill or disabled family member, parent or child, will appreciate this story.
This book had several narrators and all were excellent. The variety and quality of the narration enhanced the story and make this book a real gem.
The first hour of this seemed liked an infomercial for the book and for God. The rest of it was pretty repetitive. The principles they offer are a nice idea, but I remain skeptical. What they say can't be proven or disproven, and I'm not sure I believe that these messages are received from a spiritual guide. I'm not inclined toward the supernatural although I would favor this kind of teaching over anything offered through organized religion.
If you are searching for something, it's worth a try.
I really wasn't in the mood to read this book but felt that it was something I needed to do. I thought it was going to be boring and hard to get through. I wanted to get it over with so I downloaded it and hit the play button.
Boy was I surprised.
This book turned out to be one of the best books I have listened to to date, and I've listened to a lot of books. Gilbert's writing is light, and easy to understand. His narration is great, too. He has a wonderful sense of humor and provides numerous examples to get his points across.
Gilbert talks about why our memories are so problematic, how narrow our perception of reality really are, and what makes us terrible predictors of our own happinesse. He shows how our present feelings influence memories of our past as well as our imagination of the future. He also talks about how self-deception, perceptions of regret, and freedom of choice can contribute to or undermine our happiness.
The book isn't meant to be a self-help book, but the understanding I gained, definitely helped me.
I loved this book and will probably listen to is several more times.
Sam Harris gets my vote for the bravest man in America and the most rational, too.
No body likes athiests; they are reviled by all. Yet Sam Harris has stood up and said enough already with God, with all religions. He poignantly argues his point that religion isn't working so maybe we should try something else...how about reason. He says that no one has ever died from too much knowledge or reason.
This work is concise. He gets straight to the point and doesn't waste your time. I agree with the other reviewers who say that this should be required reading (and thinking) by all. We need a different paradigm in which to see the world if we are going to move forward. Sam Harris provides a new paradigm and is thinking outside the box. Are we going to continue our insane wishful thinking or are we going to make a change in time to save ourselves and to progress?
Julia is halarious and it's hard not to agree with her arguments. She asks the questions that most people growing up Catholic only thought about but were afraid to ask out loud.
Julia didn't let go of God without a fight. She has done her research and is well informed in a variety of fields. In this performance she tells us about her personal struggle with religion, and demonstrates how her doubt and research have led her to where she is today. And she does this all in a very entertaining way.
If you struggle with religion, and especially Catholicism, you will enjoy this. If you are on the other side, you may find it troublesome, although she is not disrespectful at all.
It takes guts to do what she has done and she deserves kudos for her bravery.
This was a very differnt story - one about a young man who wakes up as an insect. It was a little strange, but the narration was excellent and it held my interest. The only thing I didn't like about it was the ending. I thought it was a little abrupt.
This was an enjoyable introduction to Philosophy. In fact I listened to it twice and will probably listen to it again.
I didn't know too much about philosophy when beginning the book, although I had listened to several of the books in the 90-minute series (Aristotle in 90 Minutes, etc.) over the past few months. I think this contributed to my enjoyment of the book and helped me to get more out of it. For me, this book tied some loose ends together. It talked about the questions that philosophers seek to answer and explained the different approaches (empiricism and rationalism; idealism and materialism, etc.) of a few significant philosophers.
It wasn't comprehensive but it covered a good deal and so I think it was worth it.
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