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PeacefulSeeker

Santa Barbara, CA United States | Member Since 2011

70
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 52 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 42 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
5

  • Through the Eye of a Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West, 350-550 AD

    • UNABRIDGED (31 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Peter Brown
    • Narrated By Fleet Cooper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (92)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (73)

    Jesus taught his followers that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Yet by the fall of Rome, the church was becoming rich beyond measure. Through the Eye of a Needle is a sweeping intellectual and social history of the vexing problem of wealth in Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire, written by the world's foremost scholar of late antiquity.

    Jacobus says: "A learned, well-balanced postmodern history"
    "Hard to listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Through the Eye of a Needle?

    It sounded like the narrator had not pre-read the text. I had trouble concentrating because I had to mentally correct the narration to make sense of it and it became laborious,.


    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Martin Meredith
    • Narrated By Fleet Cooper
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    Martin Meredith has revised this classic history to incorporate important recent developments, including the Darfur crisis in Sudan, Robert Mugabe’s continued destructive rule in Zimbabwe, controversies over Western aid and exploitation of Africa’s resources, the growing importance and influence of China, and the democratic movement roiling the North African countries of Tunisia, Egypt, and Jordan.

    Jeff says: "Africa: Land of Hope and Horror"
    "The book for which I've been waiting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here we have decades of important information wonderfully reduced to a brief volume. The narration is good when it's not venturing into character quotes. Then, instead of ever sounding like either North Africans or Subsaharans, it always sounds like Johnny Carson, which does not work well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World Without End

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Ken Follett
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8679)
    Performance
    (3126)
    Story
    (3156)

    In 1989 Ken Follett astonished the literary world with The Pillars of the Earth, set in 12th-century England. Readers and listeners ever since have hoped for a sequel. At last, here it is. Although the two novels may be listened to in any order, World Without End also takes place in Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building their exquisite Gothic cathedral. The cathedral is again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge.

    Laura says: "Repetitive, but still enjoyable"
    "I like Follett"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've read 4 of his books. This is one where it seems the sex/rape scenes are more numerous and gratuitous, threatening to caricaturize the story. The recording had issues, too. Every now and then it will say something like, "This is the end of disk 9." Further, the book ended while there were about 8 chapters to go, as viewable on my device, but I could they were a repeat of earlier chapters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Myth of a Christian Nation: How the Quest for Political Power Is Destroying the Church

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Gregory A. Boyd
    • Narrated By Richard Allen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Arguing from Scripture and history, Dr. Boyd makes a compelling case that whenever the church gets too close to any political or national ideology, it is disastrous for the church and harmful to society. Dr. Boyd contends that the American Evangelical Church has allowed itself to be co-opted by the political right (and some by the political left), and exposes how this is harming the church's unique calling to build the kingdom of God.

    Samuel says: "Challenging and full of truth"
    "Recommended by a Prof"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    My American Church History prof in seminary recommended that I read this after I raised a series of questions after class. I found too many holes in official accounts, including books on his syllabus.

    Here my questions were answered. If you're uncomfortable with how Christianity has overlapped with nationalism, this could be helpful.

    I think it would have been even more powerful if Dr. Boyd would have narrated his book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Nelson Mandela
    • Narrated By Michael Boatman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (288)
    Performance
    (259)
    Story
    (255)

    Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world.

    History says: "Surprisingly honest autobiography."
    "Couldn't stop"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sometimes I listen to one or two audiobooks alternatively throughout the week but I could not interrupt this one. Mandela's story is as fascinating as any. With this book who needs action movies or dramas?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christmas Sermons

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    • Narrated By Tom Parks
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Executed by the Nazis for his complicity in a plot to assassinate Hitler, Dietrich Bonhoeffer remains with us today through his writings - far-reaching ripples of deep thought, passionate words, and unflinching character. Including biographical insights, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Christmas Sermons spans Bonhoeffer's 17 years as a preacher. This collection of vintage sermons and writings searches out the power and mystery of the Christmas season: its joyous riches and its implications for our lives.

    Gary says: "Great texts, but a bloodless reading"
    "I Love Bonhoeffer, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've never heard a recording of Bonhoeffer's voice but I cannot imagine he'd impact his congregations with a monotone. This would be better if the delivery were more like that of an actual pastor.

    I'd like more Bonhoeffer sermons, but maybe assign a public speaker to do it next time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • All the Way Home

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Ann Tatlock
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Award-winning author of A Room of My Own and A Place Called Morning, Ann Tatlock delivers a soul-searching inspirational story of faith and friendship.

    Don says: "Never wanted to put down my headphones"
    "Tremendous Historical Fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fine book that becomes a tour de force with one of the best narrations I've heard, and I listen to audiobooks every day.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A History of the Middle Ages

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Crane Brinton, John Christopher, Robert Wolff
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (200)
    Story
    (194)

    A History of the Middle Ages is the amazing story of European man in transition. It is a dramatic chronicle of 1,000 years of political, social, and economic transformation beginning with the dissolution of the classical Mediterranean civilization and ending with the first flowering of the Renaissance. It is also the story of two new religions, Christianity and Islam, both of which were destined to dominate the mind of every person in those new civilizations arising in their wake.

    Theresa says: "A Stunning Achievement"
    "I will listen again, it's that good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The only drawback is the unorthodox pronunciations--I am more comfortable with non-British narrations but can tolerate it better if the words are close to how most of the academy speaks.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1267)
    Performance
    (1141)
    Story
    (1133)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
    "About as historically accurate as The DaVinci Code"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will finish the book, most likely, because it's somewhat interesting.

    It's not approvable as a dissertation. I've only read about 1/3 and am distracted by mistakes like Aslan's assertion that the Zealots arose around the the Temple resistance in the latter half of the 1st century. He also claims that Jerusalem was called Aeolia Capitolina after Vespasian's triumph (it was 60 years later under Hadrian). He says that Jesus "the Christ" began with John Mark in 70CE (Pauline epistles use the term extensively and they were written in the 50s).

    His preface says that this is the fruit of 20 years of research which is something I cannot buy.

    For anyone who knows little about the 1st century, just be prepared for some exciting fiction a la The Davinci Code, which I also enjoyed, once I could overcome the offensiveness of the fantasy.

    It's about as historically accurate as The DaVinci Code but not nearly as entertaining.

    32 of 75 people found this review helpful
  • Heaven Is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You Do Matters to God

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Michael E. Wittmer
    • Narrated By Maurice England
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    This planet is more than just a stopover on your way to heaven. It is your final destination. God wants you to enjoy your earthly existence, and to think otherwise is to miss the life he intends for you. Exploring the book of Genesis, Heaven Is a Place on Earth gently but firmly strips away common misconceptions of Christianity and broadens your worldview to reveal the tremendous dignity and value of everyday life. Taking you from creation, to the fall, to redemption, and to glimpses from the book of Revelation, Michael Wittmer opens your eyes to a faith that encompasses all of life.

    PeacefulSeeker says: "For an Evangelical Audience"
    "For an Evangelical Audience"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have an Evangelical-ish background and can recommend this for them, especially, as the author is clearly comfortable with them/us, hoping also to challenge and stretch.

    My own taste prefers, especially when authors are not narrating, a less regional voice; think Brian Jennings or Diane Sawyer. For me, such voices would make listening less rigorous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Isabel Wilkerson
    • Narrated By Robin Miles, Ken Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (868)
    Performance
    (689)
    Story
    (690)

    In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to previously untapped data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

    Lila says: "Superior non-fiction"
    "Truly a Labor of Love"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a labor of love, indeed. Thousands of interviews, copious footnotes, and still it reads more like a novel than a history book.

    I dare say that it is impossible to have more than a modicum of understanding of American History without the range of information covered here.

    Thank you, Isabel Wilkerson!

    It builds slowly, but deliberately, to a wonderful emotional end where the reader feels sad to say, "Goodbye" to characters. I did not see the "repetitiveness" asserted by some reviewers as laborious. Sections recapped earlier portions in the way that TV dramas do. I enjoyed the approach. It is a long book to which I look for a sequel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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