Probably not. This is a collection of letters that he wrote to a friend, and while there are some good moments, I didn't find it particularly helpful.
There's really not another book like this one. This collection of letters is just that - a collection of letters from one friend to another.
The saving grace of this book was the narrator's performance.
Not really. My favorite part was when he said that he wished that ministers would remember that the Lord said Feed my flock, not Experiment with my rats. I've had that feeling before, myself.
For fans of C.S. Lewis' non-fiction works, this is not the best choice. I found it somewhat dry compared to his other works, but then again, this is a collection of letters - not a book that he wrote for a larger audience.
There are traces of his sense of humor here and there, but the style is far less entertaining and made less of an impression on me than other works of his that I have read.
This is almost a theological (study of God) book, but it doesn't really make it to that category. Neither is it a mentoring or encouraging book on prayer, it's more about complaints he had about the service at his church and problems he has with his friend's (Malcolm's) opinions on theology.
I've read quite a few theological works by great Christian authors, but in my opinion, they all pale in comparison to this one.
What John Piper does so well is to make it so clear that we are creatures made for worship, and we were created to worship God. It is in this activity alone that we find complete peace and satisfaction. It is not that we have too much desire; it is that we do not have enough desire. It is not that we seek too much satisfaction, but too little. God is the only desire that will fulfill us. Piper compares this truth to C.S. Lewis' infamous analogy of a child playing in the mud because he cannot imagine a holiday at the beach. We attempt to satisfy ourselves with lesser things to our detriment because we don't understand just how full our satisfaction can be when we seek it in God.
Piper does not stop there, however. He goes on to discuss what pursing God means and how to incorporate that pursuit into our daily lives. He tells us that joy is something we have to fight for, and he discusses various tactics for that battle. He makes his presentation very easy to understand. He uses quotations from other well-known Christian authors, such as C.S. Lewis, but he keeps theological rhetoric to a minimum. His style is conversational, and it was translated very well through the narrative talents of Grover Gardner. Gardner did an outstanding job with the narration with a beautiful melodic voice that maintains an upbeat cadence throughout the audiobook.
Let me just say that by applying Piper's view of God as my ultimate goal and desire, decisions have become much easier, bothersome thoughts don't bother me as much, and I am a much happier and more satisfied person.
I know...You're thinking..."Seriously? She read this book and it changed her life that much? This sound suspicously like that self-help nonsense that works for five minutes until life happens." Life has happened and life will happen, and I know that I will continue to see it differently...through the eyes of a God Who wants nothing more from me than my worship, praise, adoration, and love. I'm not suggesting that I will do this perfectly, but, at least, John Piper has shown me what a holiday at the beach with God might look like, and once you've seen an image like that, there's no going back.
Beowulf is the ultimate epic warrior story. It is fantastical and believable; it is poetic and savage.
This story of a great warrior king and his people was beautifully translated by Seamus Heaney. The translation is modern, but it does not loose any of the beauty of the poetry in its effort to be modern. The descriptions are vivid and the meaning is clear throughout the poem.
As to the narration, Seamus Heany's rendition is masterful. He does not attempt to differentiate between the various voices in the poem, but that allows for better concentration on the poetry, itself. This reading of Beowulf would be best enjoyed before bed with a cup of tea in your favorite chair. I would be interested to hear a narration that does differentiate between the voices, but I did not feel slighted by this reading in any way. Heaney's voice is beautiful, clear, and melodic.
For those who are not familiar with the poem, you should be aware that all does not necessarily end well. That's all I'll say about the plot, itself. As this is the oldest surviving Old English poem (at least to my knowledge), the plot is generally known. Just don't approach it thinking that it's Disney-esque. That's not to say that there is anything that could be considered inappropriate in the poem - it's just to say that little ones might not be ready for everything in it.
I would highly recommend this audiobook to anyone interested in poetry, epic battles, Old English, or even just something different because there's nothing else quite like Beowulf in all of literature.
This is a great resource for anyone with diabetes. Suzy Cohen discusses the disease, itself, diet, nutrition, exercise, supplements, medications, interactions, and recipes. She is a pharmacist, so she brings a unique perspective to the topic that is rarely offered in other books as most are written by doctors. The pharmaceutical background adds a lot to the discussion of various medications and supplements.
Jo Anna Perrin narrated the book well. There is a long PDF document that comes with the purchase of the audiobook, and it contains a vast amount of information. This is one of those books that would normally require either extensive note taking or the hard copy of the book to really get a good grasp on a lot of the topics, but the PDF makes it possible to listen to the narration and print the material you would need to review. That said, I have the hard copy, myself, and for the sheer amount of material covered in this work, I'm glad that I do.
I was impressed that the author covered the use of teas, which is a topic often ignored in discussions about supplements. I was also impressed that she continued to exhort her audience to make their physicians aware of the supplements that they take as they have pharmacological effects and can interfere with their prescription or over-the-counter medications. She was very open-minded about prescription medications and vitamins and supplements, but she was not without criticisms. I found the book to be particularly well-rounded in its approach various treatments for diabetes.
I will be using this book again, for reference purposes, and I will probably listen to the audiobook every so often as a refresher. It was well worth the credit for the life-saving, well-researched, and well-presented information.
I didn't expect to enjoy this book this much. Actually, I got it from one of those Audible daily deals thinking that it would, at least, be something different.
In short, David Epstein studies human and animal structure from head to toe and compares athletic prowess between men and women and between people from different geographic regions, climate zones, and backgrounds, and he puts all of this information into perspective in a way that the average listener can understand.
For example, he explains the structural difference in various types of atheletes, such as why some countries produce runners while others produce jumpers and still others produce football players and why "nature vs. nurture" may or may not even matter in certain cases. He questions why it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to become a musical virtuoso. He explores the ins and outs of breeding sled dogs for the Iditerod and how the Iditerod was changed by one man who thought that a dog's determination mattered as much as his athletic build in terms of his breeding potential. He also explains why the breeding potential of humans doesn't necessarily work the same way.
The author narrated the book, himself, and did an excellent job. He was neither too stuffy nor too comic. His tone was relaxed and congenial. I could wish that all narrators of scientific material would do as good a job.
Overall, I thouroughly enjoyed this listen, and while I don't agree with the author on all topics, I found his work to be thoroughly researched and well presented. Anyone interested in sports science, biology, genetics, anthropology, or psychology will find this an invaluable reference. As a nonatheletic type, myself, I particularly enjoyed the part about inherent musical talent vs. practice. Apparently, in about ten years, I could be a virtuoso. Gotta go pick an instrument....
I really enjoyed this one. This is the first in the Mary Quinn series, and I'm sure it won't be my last. Y.S. Lee does a really good job balancing mystery and suspense with action. I listened to this one almost nonstop because I didn't want to leave it.
Justine Eyre's voice couldn't have been a better choice for this audiobook. She has a smooth voice that handles the voices of other characters well without losing the smooth quality that makes you want to get a cup of tea, sit down in your favorite chair, and relax while you listen. Just don't think you can go to sleep to this book because there's too much excitement going on at any given moment.
There are a few places (I remember three) where inappropriate language was used. I don't understand why that was considered necessary by the author, but there isn't much of it, so it didn't ruin the book for me.
Overall, if you enjoy period novels, mysteries, suspense, or action/adventure novels, you'll like this one. I'm planning on acquiring the next book in this series, myself.
Tonight I Said Goodbye by Michael Koryta was not a bad first effort for the author. I really enjoyed the story. Koryta is good at descriptive writing without over-describing so that just enough is left to the listener's imagination, and the character development was adequate for a novel of this type. This book could be classed as a mystery, a detective novel, or a thriller depending on how you want to look at it.
I won't go into too much detail about the plot, but essentially, it begins as a missing persons case and moves into a mystery that culminates in a mob thriller ending. It moved at a good pace, so I wasn't bored with it at any point, and I was surprised by some of the developments.
Scott Brick is a good narrator for this type of audiobook. He has the voice of the hard-boiled detective down pat, and he has a good cadence. I listened to him at a speed of 1x, which says a lot for his vocal quality. For novels, if I don't like the narrator, or if the story becomes boring in parts, I will use the speed button to get through the book faster. I didn't do that here because Brick has a relaxed, calming voice that I enjoyed listening to. He's not the best at differentiating the character voices, but he was adequate.
The reasons for the two-star deduction are the language and the sex scene. The language is mild, but it was scattered throughout the book and it became an unwelcome distraction from the novel. The sex scene was short and it's easy to skip through because, as usual, it had nothing to do with the story.
Overall, the storyline is great, the narration is good, and if you want to survive the language and the sex scene (or skip through it as I did), you will enjoy this book if you like mysteries, thrillers, or detective novels.
This course is good for people who want to hear an anecdotal overview of how the English language has changed over the course of time with a few side excursions into a few other languages. It is not the general overview of languages that it was advertised to be.
Professor John McWhorter does a good job with the narration, and as he is so good at mimicking various people and intonations, I think he should seriously consider becoming a professional narrator. It's not that his normal voice is so great, it's just that he does such a fantastic job with other voices.
There are a few other languages besides English that are mentioned, but English takes up somewhere around 80% of the discusssion. McWhorter is amusing, although I found some of the comedic schtick to be annoying and overdone. He tells stories to illustrate the way language (again, mostly English) has changed over the years and explains the background of some interesting expressions.
I wasn't particularly impressed, but then, I was looking for a general overview of language, not a cutesy description of the changing patterns of English, and I felt that this course was misadvertised. If you're really interested in English, this audiobook is great, just be aware that a discussion of English is what you're getting.
I've really enjoyed several of The Great Courses, so I was particularly disappointed in this one given that I've come to expect so much from them.
Most of the course (about 90%) has to do with categorizing every single nuance of the study of learning and assigning every nuance a vocabulary term that the listener will most likely never hear or use again in their lifetime. Of the remaining 10%, 5% dealt with scientific studies that just made me think, "Wow, it's amazing what some scientists get paid to study."
The remaining 5% that was actually useful information can be summed up as follows:
1. Test yourself frequently in the process of studying. Don't wait to test yourself until you think you know the material. The more frequently you test yourself on whatever you're studying, the more likely you will retain the information. (This was from chapter 12)
2. Test yourself continually, not only on the information you don't know, but also on the information that you believe you've learned. That's because you can actually teach yourself to forget that information by ignoring it in the review process. (This was from chapter 12)
3. Foreign language learning can be greatly enhanced by listening to anything in that language in the background on a routine basis. Basically, when you do this, you are faking immersion, but your brain senses the immersion experience as being real and absorbs more than you think even if you don't understand what's being said. (I've forgotten the chapter for this, but I think it was around chapter 10 or so.)
4. Your brain is always expandable at any time at any age. Forget your IQ, forget the way you think you learn best (by hearing, by seeing, by doing), and forget your past experiences with learning a particular topic. Just do it. It has been proven that the aquisition of a new language, in particular, prevents mental decline as we age. (From chapter 24)
The only people who might find this course fascinating for more than what is listed above are teachers or parents what are interested in educational theory. As far as personal practical application goes, this course leaves a lot to be desired.
Brian Tracy is excellent at organizing information and he teaches that technique throughout the book. His main focus is teaching the listener to prioritize tasks and time and then to organize tasks and time in a manner that will help the listener achieve the tasks most important to him or her.
What I like most about his approach is that he begins with the simple truth that we can't do it all. There will always be more to do than we have time to accomplish. This admission is what makes his approach more doable and more valid than the approaches of other authors. The answer to that problem, according to Tracy, is to figure out what is most important to you and focus on those tasks. Tracy points out that we often procrastinate the tasks that are most imporatant to us (the frogs). We don't want to eat the ugliest frog first, so we focus our time on smaller tasks that seem easier to accomplish and thus, we never get around to the tasks that will actually get us to where we want to go.
Tracy gives solid examples throughout the book for figuring out what is most important, for setting aside time for those tasks, and for limiting distractions to allow for more time on the important things in our lives. He does this without the least bit of judgementalism. If anything, I found him to be very encouraging.
As to the narration, Tracy reads the book, himself, and does an excellent job for a book of this category.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has trouble with time management, procrastination, or figuring out what to do next (prioritization). This is a short, quick read that will not disappoint you. Tracy remains on point througout the book, and he gives solid advice that will help anyone achieve their goals irrespective of where they work or what type of work they do. I have to go now. I've got some important tasks that need attention...
I must begin this review with a discussion of the narrator. I adore George Guidall's voice. I could listen to him in the midst of a tornado and feel calmed and reassured that all was well. Such is his gift of narration. While I don't mind speeding up most other narrators, I would normally consider it a form of sacrilege to speed up a book George Guidall was narrating, but by the end of this one, I was at 3x speed. That's how bad it became.
It started out well. To summarize the best points, which all occurred in the first part of the book:
The toughest part of any project is getting started, which is why discipline and a schedule are immensely helpful in the creative process. Just because the process is creative doesn't mean that it should be impulsive. Scheduled work is work that helps the process along.
Figure that there are going to be pressures, disappointments, and irritations (Pressfield calls all of the above resistance). Ignore and fight anything or anybody that keeps you from your work.
Consider failure a learning experience and proof that you are succeeding at getting something done, even if that something is failure, itself. Better to try than to be lazy.
Laziness is next to being dead. To be productive is to be alive and to be alive is to be productive.
While I don't agree with everything he says about the importance of being at work all the time (one can drive oneself crazy with that idea), I also agree with the author that one can drive oneself crazy by being too lazy or, at least, lackadaisical, in one's work. We all need to know that we've accomplished something, and there is something to be said for the idea that time is your life and how you spend it is how you spend your life, so you'd better spend it well.
All of the above said, this book is not worth the crude language and the mixed-up pseudo-religious ideas that muck it up. I don't know what religion the author really professes given that he stole ideas from the Illiad and the Odyssey, from humanism, from stoicism, from Indian mysticism, and from pantheism. I don't know what that combination amounts to, but I found it contridictory and irrelevant to the topic. He rambles on at length about the importance of dreams, the self, and the ego to no productive end, as far as I could tell.
What I was expecting was help in the fight against procrastination, and some of that was present in the first part of the book, but that wasn't worth what I endured during the rest of the book. It's really bad when George Guidall's voice can't save it. My advice? Save the money and/or the credit and write yourself a schedule for completing projects that are important to you and stick with it. There. Now you won't have to fight through this badly-written book, which should give you more time to work on your project.
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