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  • Paul

  • A Biography
  • By: N. T. Wright
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 954
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 851
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 843

In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and best-selling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology - transforming a faith and changing the world. For centuries, Paul, the apostle who "saw the light on the Road to Damascus" and made a miraculous conversion from zealous Pharisee persecutor to devoted follower of Christ, has been one of the church's most widely cited saints.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Different type of writing for Wright is helpful

  • By Adam Shields on 04-25-18

A bit of a snoozer

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-10-18

Slow, dry and ultimately boring, the author tries to make up for this by adding some literary flourishes without providing a lot of evidence for how he knows certain specifics (how Paul was feeling, what he was thinking, etc.) Given that we have just 7 letters from Paul, it seems a bit of a stretch to be able to write an historically accurate biography of his life. And I think this book proves that.

Paul is a fascinating figure, and I find the story of early Christianity exceptionally interesting. But this book fails to capture the revolutionary essence Christianity must have had on early converts.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Zealot

  • The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth
  • By: Reza Aslan
  • Narrated by: Reza Aslan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,046
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,611
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,601

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E.

  • By Charles on 07-22-13

Questionable research

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-05-17

Adding further to the problem is Aslan's propensity toward hyperbole both in his language and his performance. Bart Ehrman has written pretty extensively on this book on his blog - and he challenges and corrects many of the assertions in Aslan's Zealot.

Ultimately, the historical Jesus was not a zealot at all but is best understood as an apocalyptic prophet. It may be true that Jesus believed God would put a violent end to roman imperialism, but there's no indication (in fact a lot contrary to the idea) that Jesus thought he was going to be the cause of that violence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Evolution of God

  • By: Robert Wright
  • Narrated by: Arthur Morey
  • Length: 18 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 855
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 505
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 502

In this sweeping narrative, which takes us from the Stone Age to the Information Age, Robert Wright unveils an astonishing discovery: there is a hidden pattern that the great monotheistic faiths have followed as they have evolved. Through the prisms of archeology, theology, and evolutionary psychology, Wright's findings overturn basic assumptions about Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and are sure to cause controversy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very interesting and thought provoking

  • By Joseph on 02-09-10

A bit drab

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-17

While very intelligently written, the author takes an otherwise interesting topic and manages to make it boring. Perhaps this book wasn't intended for the lay reader, but while authors like Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels can make religious scholarship interesting to a general audience, Wright lacks this quality.

Though I will say I very much enjoyed Arthur Morey's always wonderful narration. And it's probably the most interesting part of this audio book.

This book will make you smarter - I just wish it was more enjoyable. A book about the evolution of God shouldn't be this boring.

  • A Universe from Nothing

  • Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing
  • By: Lawrence M. Krauss
  • Narrated by: Lawrence M. Krauss, Simon Vance
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,832
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,524
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,500

Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? And finally, why is there something rather than nothing? Krauss’ answers to these and other timeless questions, in a wildly popular lecture on YouTube, has attracted almost a million viewers. One of the few prominent scientists to have actively crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss reveals that modern science is indeed addressing the question of why there is something rather than nothing—with surprising and fascinating results.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Read Review Before Buying

  • By Claire on 04-26-18

Not really science, more a work of philosophy

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-12-17

Any additional comments?

I have to hand it to Mr. Krauss, he's managed to take some pretty standard philosophical views and repackage them as science. As he goes on and on about a universe spontaneously appearing out of nowhere he can't help but try to "enlighten" us as to how we can give meaning and purpose to an otherwise meaningless world.

It's a good listen, but he never really provides a demonstrable way to prove some of his theories - so at the end, the listener really just has to take what he says on faith.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Did Jesus Exist?

  • The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth
  • By: Bart D. Ehrman
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 281
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 245
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 247

Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of religion: "Did Jesus exist at all?" Was he invented out of whole cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was Jesus such a shadowy figure - far removed from any credible historical evidence - that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Vintage Ehrman

  • By Jacobus on 07-17-12

Ehrman presents an indisputable case

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-06-17

Any additional comments?

Ehrman presents an indisputable case for the historicity of Jesus. This man's knowledge on the New Testament and early church history is staggering. I've read a number of his books multiple times and still find myself learning something new with each reading.

Ehrman's arguments are so strong, that for one to deny the historicity of Jesus would require a leap of faith equal to believing in Christ's divinity. Thus it shows the biases of mythicists like Richard Carrier, who are obviously intelligent enough to asses the evidence objectively, yet deny it in order to sell books.

The greatest shortcoming to this audio version is the rather drab and robotic narration, but I did eventually get used to it. This is not a book for Christian fundamentalists, nor is it for militant atheists, rather it's for the objectively intelligent reader who really want's the facts regarding the existence of the historical Jesus Of Nazareth.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Innovators

  • How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • By: Walter Isaacson, Walter Isaacson(Introduction)
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 74

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson's revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging History of Computing

  • By P. Lafford on 12-18-15

Informative and entertaining listen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-10-17

Any additional comments?

I've been a fan of Isaacson's previous books about Einstein and Steve Jobs, and this work is no different. The history of technology and innovation could not be in more capable hands. Never boring, Isaacson has as much understanding of these innovators as he does of the technology itself that they pioneered. Balanced by the crisp and conversational narration of Dennis Boutsikaris, this book is a monumental achievement and can be read and enjoyed by anyone with even the slightest interest in technology.

  • The Case for Jesus

  • The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ
  • By: Brant Pitre, Robert Barron - afterword
  • Narrated by: Mark Deakins
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 464
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 460

Over the past hundred years, scholars have attacked the historical truth of the Gospels and argued that they were originally anonymous and filled with contradictions. In The Case for Jesus, Brant Pitre taps in to the wells of Christian scripture, history, and tradition to ask and answer a number of different questions, including: If we don't know who wrote the Gospels, how can we trust them? How are the four Gospels different from other Gospels, such as the lost Gospel of "Q" and the Gospel of Thomas?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pitre Debunks Bart Ehrman

  • By Dominic Vahling on 08-07-16

Convincing Apologetics

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-17

Any additional comments?

Being an admirer of Bart D. Ehrman's scholarship, and having read and reread several of his books (my favorite being Jesus Interrupted.) I believed that the life of Jesus was an open and shut case; Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who believed the end was coming in his lifetime, and was crucified (not for claiming to be God) but for claiming to be the future King of the Jews. Yet Brant Pitre's work serves as an excellent companion piece to Jesus Interrupted, offering a powerful counter argument to many of Ehrman's claims. Particularly that Jesus never claimed to be God. Pitre also explores the resurrection far more deeply than Ehrman (who all but refuses to address it, simply saying historians must remain silent on miracles.) Pitre's work is part scholarship. part history, and part sermon. I am fairly agnostic on many religious issues - yet I enjoy biblical scholarship and religious studies, but The Case For Jesus left me convinced of a few simply facts. Jesus claimed to be God and the Messiah, he was crucified, and on the third day he rose again and appeared to his disciples, and to as many as 500 of his followers. An event that quite literally change the course of human history.

  • The History of the Ancient World

  • From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome
  • By: Susan Wise Bauer
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 26 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,944
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,644
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,626

This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history. This narrative history employs the methods of "history from beneath" - literature, epic traditions, private letters, and accounts - to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Historic Achievement

  • By Ellen S. Wilds on 04-25-14

A bit of a mess

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-26-16

Any additional comments?

The book jumps around so frequently from historical figure to historical figure it becomes impossible to keep a clear context of exactly what history is being told, and why it matters. The book is clearly ambitious and makes a point that it's trying to tell the personal histories of influential individuals. Yet this approach seems to create little more than a convoluted hodgepodge of historical facts and talking points. From Ancient Egypt and the Lost City Of Troy to Ancient China the narrative is the same - "King so and so did such and such and his reign ended." Over and over again it goes on like this. Just a bunch of random, essentially useless information about great leaders you've probably never heard of.

  • Learn Chinese - Ultimate Getting Started with Chinese Box Set, Lessons 1-55

  • Absolute Beginner Chinese #7
  • By: Innovative Language Learning
  • Narrated by: ChineseClass101.com
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 23

Start speaking Chinese in minutes, and grasp the language, culture and customs in just minutes more with Ultimate Getting Started with Chinese Box Set, a completely new way to learn Chinese with ease! Ultimate Getting Started with Chinese Box Set will have you speaking with proper pronunciation from the very first lesson and arm you with cultural insight and other information to utterly shock and amaze your Chinese friends.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Pretty disappointing

  • By Jeff P on 12-16-12

Great Refresher with charming hosts.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-16

Any additional comments?

I grew up in Taiwan and was fluent in Mandarin as a child but have since gottten a bit rusty - this course is great in that it offers you the basics without telling you what you already know (i.e. the pronunciation and tones.) This is less of a formal instruction course and more of a Podcast format.I really enjoyed the hosts who are charming a funny and have great chemistry. This series may not be for everyone - but if you're an intermediate Mandarin speaker in need of a refresher this course might be just what you're looking for.

Sapiens audiobook cover art
  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17,911
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,943
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,850

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sums it up nicely

  • By Mark on 05-15-15

A Fascinating Overview Of Humankind

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-15

Any additional comments?

A fascinating and enjoyable read. Often both opinionated and profound Harrari has written a book which will change the way you view yourself, your ancestors and human history. The philosophical and more questions raised are never answered - rather the author chooses a tremendously objective approach, which needless to say, can lead to a rather precarious ethical debate when addressing histories' more brutal events.

However gray the moral perspective may be - this is not a commentary on human religious or moral values or on the validity of our "shared myths". Rather this is a book which strives to have us all look at ourselves for what we are - highly evolved animals.