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Alexandra Hopkins

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  • 90
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  • 66
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  • Imagine Heaven

  • Near-Death Experiences, God's Promises, and the Exhilarating Future That Awaits You
  • By: John Burke
  • Narrated by: Tristan Wright
  • Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 223
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 223

All of us long to know what life after death will be like. Best-selling author John Burke is no exception. In Imagine Heaven, Burke compares over 100 gripping stories of near-death experiences (NDEs) to what Scripture says about our biggest questions of heaven: Will I be myself? Will I see friends and loved ones? What will heaven look like? What is God like? What will we do forever? What about children and pets?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book

  • By Anonymous User on 10-11-17

Don't make this your only book on the subject

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

One purpose of learning about NDE's is to open oneself to a good experience as one transitions from life on Earth to the Afterlife. Many report that the experience of the Afterlife is responsive to one's beliefs about it, so these beliefs may matter. This book is not by authors who say that they have experienced an NDE. It is about NDE's of others filtered through a literal reading of the Bible. If you read only this book about NDE's, you will have received a distorted picture of the experience and, possibly, limited your Afterlife experience, at least temporarily.

I highly recommend also reading or listening to books by people who have actually experienced an NDE: Dr. Eben Alexander, Dr. Mary Neal, Nancy Rynes, and so many others.

On the one hand, I'm glad that the authors have not taken the position that NDE's are the work of the Devil. NDE's usually involve so much love, forgiveness, and, often, beautiful descriptions of God and Jesus, that it makes no sense to maintain, as some Christians do, that the Devil creates these experiences.

On the other hand, the authors bend the reports of NDE's to fit Biblical doctrine. For example, frequently, "Experiencers" report going through a tunnel on their way to Heaven. Apparently, there's no Biblical quote that supports this report. As I recall, the authors mention a tunnel only once and then they "correct" that report. They maintain that the person must have misinterpreted what he really saw.

The authors attempt to persuade readers that, based on quotations from the Bible, our task on Earth is to be obedient, as children are, to a fatherly God. They say that if we are sufficiently obedient to God, we will earn rewards in Heaven beyond what is possible on Earth and beyond description. These rewards are described in very materialistic terms—homes, good jobs, fun activities like sports events, etc. While all those who accept Jesus as their Savior will be admitted to Heaven, only the obedient will receive ineffable honors and rewards.

Those who do not accept Jesus as their Savior will consign themselves to Hell for eternity.

At the same time, nothing in the NDE reports that they quote from supports these claims about accepting Jesus, obedience, rewards, and eternal Hell. The authors do not explain that they have based these claims on the Bible and Church teachings rather than what Experiencers have reported.

I've read or listened to 100's of reports of NDE's. Many of these describe a loving and powerful God and Jesus, so loving and powerful as to be impossible to describe in words. While I've learned about only a fraction of the reports available, none have described God or Jesus as demanding obedience or handing out rewards as a father would. This description very much conflicts with NDE characterizations of God and Jesus. Nor have the authors of "Imagine Heaven" provided supporting quotes from Experiencers.

At the same time, I want to thank the authors of "Imagine Heaven." I believe that this book is a step forward for many Christians, in that it does not demonize NDE’s. In addition, for me, it was the clearest and most logical explanation of Christian doctrine that I've read regarding the role of Jesus. The book’s explanation is complex, involving two times of judgement of humans. But, it all fits together. It just doesn't fit the picture one gets if one reads a lot of reports by NDE Experiencers. Nevertheless, I feel the book has an important contribution to the literature on Christianity and NDE's.

I gave the narration two stars because the male narrator is distracting with his attempts to mimic women, children, and various accents. He's actually a pretty good mimic, but it's an annoying distraction nonetheless.

  • Awakenings from the Light

  • 12 Life Lessons from a Near Death Experience
  • By: Nancy Rynes
  • Narrated by: Nancy Rynes
  • Length: 7 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

Suffering from severe spinal and head injuries, Rynes knew she was dying. At that moment, she underwent the first of two life-changing near-death experiences - her consciousness split between her frightened, injured self lying on the road, and an impartial, peaceful observer-consciousness who watched as first responders fought to keep her alive. Her second, more lengthy near-death experience came days later, during the surgery that attempted to repair her traumatized spine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More spiritual concepts than NDE content

  • By Trevor C. on 07-19-18

Transformational book

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

I've read or listened to something on the order of 100 accounts of Near Death Experiences (NDE)--I've been binging on the subject lately. Nancy Rynes' account of her NDE is fairly typical in certain ways. It's well-written, well-organized, and interesting. But, in one way it's particularly outstanding--she brought back extensive teachings, which she's able to explain in detail. Many "experiencers" bring back teachings regarding loving each other, our connectedness, forgiveness, and similar ideas. However, Nancy Rynes really puts meat on the bones.

She relays, first, the extensive teachings that she was given by her Guide in the Afterlife. Then, she adds her understanding of them along with suggestions for related spiritual exercises. For whatever reason, her retelling of these oft-repeated principles hit home with me. While I feel that I've made a lot of spiritual progress in my life, Nancy's book is giving me a big boost for moving further along. I've had many realizations while listening and can see that I've already made changes in my life. I'm now listening for the 5th time and still having new realizations. Yes, I recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Story of Light

  • By: Ben Bova
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 106
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

From the creation of life to the exploration of the heavens and the stars, from the origins of the earth to the possibility of life on other planets, Ben Bova unveils the beauty and science behind this phenomenon. Bova masterfully explains how light affects us every day of our lives, from our religions to our sex drives. He examines how we use light in art, science, industry, entertainment, cosmetics, jewelry, and in a myriad other ways.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well done!

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-27-05

All about light--once over lightly

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

Reviewed: 09-28-18

I enjoyed this book about light. It's basically "all about light"--what it is, the history of the study of light, and how it's used. The physics is treated once-over quickly--not with a great deal of depth. Ben Bova writes in an enjoyable style. It's really a book about "everything you wanted to know about light but were afraid to ask." Many different topics are covered and explained in general terms without profound depth. If you want a survey of what is known about light, this is the book for you.

  • Science and the Akashic Field

  • An Integral Theory of Everything
  • By: Ervin Laszlo
  • Narrated by: Tom Pile
  • Length: 6 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 87
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

Mystics and sages have long maintained that there exists an interconnecting cosmic field at the roots of reality that conserves and conveys information, a field known as the Akashic record. Recent discoveries in vacuum physics show that this Akashic field is real and has its equivalent in science's zero-point field that underlies space itself. This field consists of a subtle sea of fluctuating energies from which all things arise: atoms and galaxies, stars and planets, living beings, and even consciousness.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A must-read about ultimate nature of reality

  • By Alexandra Hopkins on 04-15-18

A must-read about ultimate nature of reality

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

Reviewed: 04-15-18

Ervin Laszlo has some fascinating ideas about the nature of our universe and its relationship to consciousness. This is a must read for anyone interested in the ultimate nature of reality. The concepts are fascinating. The writing is, however, quite dry. And the narration also is not that engaging. But, this is an extremely important book as the author introduces ideas about the holographic nature of reality that I've not seen elsewhere.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Proof of Heaven

  • A Neurosurgeon's Near-Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife
  • By: Eben Alexander
  • Narrated by: Eben Alexander
  • Length: 6 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,496
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,062
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,082

On November 10, 2008, Dr. Eben Alexander was driven into coma by a disease so lethal that only 1 in 10,000,000 survive. Seven days later, he awakened with memories of a fantastic odyssey deep into another realm that were more real than this earthly one - memories that included meeting a deceased birth sister he had never known existed. Dr. Alexander deployed all his knowledge as a scientist to find out whether his mind could have played a trick on him. In its shutdown state, there was no way it could have.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling

  • By Kelly on 10-27-12

A page-turner, beautifully narrated

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

Reviewed: 03-20-18

I couldn't stop listening to this book. It's a real page-turner. It's also beautifully narrated by the author. Totally enjoyable. I'm recommending it to my husband as an excellent way to learn about a Near Death Experience by a reliable witness.

  • The Physics of God

  • Unifying Quantum Physics, Consciousness, M-Theory, Heaven, Neuroscience and Transcendence
  • By: Amit Goswami, Joseph Selbie
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 5 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 260
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 257

Setting aside the pervasive material bias of science and lifting the obscuring fog of religious sectarianism reveals a surprisingly clear unity of science and religion. The explanations of transcendent phenomena given by saints, sages, and near-death experiencers are fully congruent with scientific discoveries in the fields of relativity, quantum physics, medicine, M-theory, neuroscience, and quantum biology. The Physics of God describes the intersections of science and religion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Deeply Satisfying

  • By Lisa Yorgason on 10-28-17

Disappointing due to inaccurate physics

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

Reviewed: 02-23-18

I was disappointed by this book as the reporting on physics was inaccurate to the point of carelessness. Some of the errors were minor--the claim that Bohm worked on the Manhattan project (he didn't) and misattribution of a famous quote to Feynman that was actually said by David Mermin ("Shut up and calculate!").

But, one mis-statement of the book is major--that the consciousness of an intelligent being is required to convert particles in a quantum state to a particle. No major physicist has maintained this, and there is certainly no experimental evidence for this. In the 1920's and 30's major physicists like Schrodinger and Heisenberg thought it possible that consciousness was necessary to granting physical reality to particles. But they were not saying anything about the consciousness of an "intelligent being."

Since that time, physicists have moved away from the idea of consciousness playing a role in favor of an information theory approach. The information theory approach is entirely consistent with experimental results and quantum mechanics theory.

Personally, I believe that consciousness plays a role in creating our perception of our universe. But to make claims that physicists hold that intelligent consciousness changes quantum states to physical states is just plain inaccurate.

I'm pushing myself to listen to the entire book, because I am finding things out about string theory that I didn't know--you can be sure, however, that I will be checking everything that the author is saying about it! I really have to push myself to listen to it because the narration has a sing-songy "sweetness and light" quality. Yes, I find this book annoying.

20 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • The Bully Pulpit

  • Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism
  • By: Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
  • Length: 36 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,728
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,475
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,470

Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the "muckraking" press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses, and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. The rupture led Roosevelt to run against Taft for president, an ultimately futile race that gave power away to the Democrats.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Makes You Forget You Live in the 21st Century Good

  • By Cynthia on 01-11-14

How to recover from plutocracy in the U.S.

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

Reviewed: 02-18-18

This book is enjoyable and a great learning experience on how to recover from plutocracy. I want to say at the very top that the narration by Edward Herrmann is absolutely superb.

In the early 1900's, the U.S. was in the grip of the Robber Barons, just as we are today. Then, it was J.P. Morgan, John D. Rockerfeller, and the Vanderbilts. Now, it's the Koch Brothers and Monsanto. I read this book because I wanted to find out how Americans at that time struggled to free themselves. "The Bully Pulpit" delivered--I found out how it was done. It gave me hope that we can manage our own deliverance.

"The Bully Pulpit" is a leisurely tour through the Progressive Era. At that time enlightened politicians and the muckrakers battled the trusts for control of the government. The term "trusts" meant large corporations, holding companies, and cartels; and, specifically, Wall Street. The trusts did what humongous corporations and monopolies do today--squeeze workers, drive out smaller competition, and run the government. If you google political cartoons of the early 1900's (the Gilded Age, Age of the Robber Barons), you'll find cartoons that could almost be in the newspapers today.

At that time, the battle of ideas was between laissez-faire capitalism (Libertarianism) and progressivism--with pretty much the same progressive platform as today. Only, many of the things that they struggled for, were since accomplished. And, unfortunately, some of it is now being rolled back.

They were lucky, they got Teddy Roosevelt, Trust-Buster. It was as accidental as our getting Trump. We were unlucky.

But Teddy Roosevelt could not have done much without the help of the muckrakers--investigative journalists. They riled up the people. And the people demanded change from Congress.

After all, dollars never vote. Dollars only influence real people, who do vote. But what if real people don't support the corporations and do vote in accordance with their interests? That's what it took to reclaim America from the plutocrats in the early 1900's, and that's what it will take today.

Yes, it's a leisurely tour. Doris Kearns Goodwin is enthralled with the people who all made it happen and she engages us with their doigns. It starts off slow, but picks up from there. About halfway through I felt--well, I get the picture. But I listened to the entire book. I liked Roosevelt, Taft, their wives, and the investigative journalists who fill the pages of this book. I wanted to find out what happened to them. And Goodwin writes beautifully, documents everything, and makes it an engaging and enjoyable ride. I feel like should personally thank her for helping me to see a path forward.









  • The Hacking of the American Mind

  • The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains
  • By: Robert H. Lustig
  • Narrated by: Robert H. Lustig
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 596
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 533
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 532

While researching the toxic and addictive properties of sugar for Fat Chance, Robert Lustig made an alarming discovery - our pursuit of happiness is being subverted by a culture of addiction and depression from which we may never recover. Dopamine is the "reward" neurotransmitter that tells our brains we want more; yet every substance or behavior that releases dopamine in the extreme leads to addiction. Serotonin is the "contentment" neurotransmitter that tells our brains we don't need any more; yet its deficiency leads to depression.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Exceptional

  • By Martin Haviar on 10-06-17

Sugar and processed foods make us STUPID and fat

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

Reviewed: 01-15-18

This is an important, engaging book written by a noted brain scientist. His patients are obese kids who frustrate him by being unable to follow his instructions to eat better. So, he wrote a book for the adults in the room. Lustig writes plainly and with humor, but has big things to say.

Lustig creates a significant new paradigm for thinking about addiction and for thinking about how to make decisions in life. That's why this book is so important. Additionally, he has big things to say about the American diet of heavily-sugared processed food--how it addicts us and, and at the same time, reduces our brain's ability to think long-term about the consequences. He also has big things to say about the corporations which make this food and why they get away with it.

If you've ever wondered why manufacturers put so much sugar in ketchup--here's the brain science that explains. If you've ever wondered why the obesity epidemic took off during the period that doctors were pushing low-fat diets--this book explains it. If you've ever wondered why people can't stop watching pornography and like to bungee-jump off bridges--this book explains it. And if you've ever wondered why we're experiencing explosive growth in diabetes and Alzheimer's, this book explains it.

If you are worried about your own weight (especially extra fat around the middle), high blood pressure, or the risk of diabetes and Alzheimer's, this book will help you take action.

The book is well-written, well-narrated, and clear. I found the sections on the brain itself difficult but possible to get through. I did a little additional research on-line when I couldn't follow some of the details--which probably many people skip. I'm thorough. I listened to the entire book three times to make sure that I fully understood. It's an enjoyable book, so that was not a problem. This is an important book that talks about a subject most people know little about but that is driving our society towards obesity and its ills as well as gumming up our brains.








  • Democracy in Chains

  • The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
  • By: Nancy MacLean
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 776
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 697
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 695

Behind today's headlines of billionaires taking over our government is a secretive political establishment with long, deep, and troubling roots. The capitalist radical right has been working not simply to change who rules but to fundamentally alter the rules of democratic governance. But billionaires did not launch this movement; a white intellectual in the embattled Jim Crow South did.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must read if you believe in democracy

  • By H. L. Nelson on 10-11-17

Explains how the GOP gets away with it

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

Reviewed: 01-15-18

This book is a mind-blower. It is a well-documented history of how Ayn Rand-type ideology has taken over the GOP. It's clear, engaging, and written beautifully. The narration is excellent. I could hardly stop listening (except at those moments when what I was learning almost made me throw up!)

Republicans are taking apart our social services and environmental protections not only because they're acting on behalf of the 1% who fund their election campaigns, but also because strangling the government fits their current Libertarian (not conservative) ideology.

Nancy MacLean tells the story of the growth of Libertarian ideas among certain economists. She traces how these academics have risen in a network of think tanks and non-profits like the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, and the American Heritage Foundation, all funded by large corporations and individuals, like the Koch Brothers. And she shows how the campaign to spread Libertarian economics has taken advantage of the vulnerability of many Americans to manipulation of their racial prejudices.

Before reading this book, I knew that corporations and the 1% have been moving our democracy towards a plutocracy for the last three decades. I didn't know how they did it. Now, I know.

Now, I feel in a much better position to do something effective. I know that the first thing we must do is to get money out of politics. It's not sexy, it's not the issue that gets my heart throbbing, but as Lawrence Lessig, the Harvard law professor says, it's the first thing. We can't hope to get anything lasting done on the environment, equal rights, poverty, and all the big issues until we do this first thing--get money out of politics. This book has armed me with understanding of the size of the problem and what our opposition is.

But it's not hopeless. Currently, I'm listening to "The Bully Pulpit..." about Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressives who took back our government from the Robber Barons of the 1890's. They did it, and we can, too.




  • This Fight Is Our Fight

  • The Battle to Save America's Middle Class
  • By: Elizabeth Warren
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Warren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,215
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,120
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109

The fiery US senator from Massachusetts and best-selling author offers a passionate, inspiring book about why our middle class is under siege and how we can win the fight to save it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Call to Action

  • By Jean on 05-11-17

Inside account of what's wrong & solutions for U.S

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

Reviewed: 01-11-18

If you want to gain more certainty about what is really going on in Washington, DC, and why our country is in such a mess, this is a terrific book. Elizabeth Warren provides an inside account of how the federal government is increasingly being influenced by moneyed corporate interests. She manages to be quite engaging as she narrates her own book in her usual outraged persona. (At times, I did need to put the book down and take a short break.)

Warren puts meat on the bones of a picture that has developed as I've read book after book on the topic of why people voted for Trump. She focuses on the personal stories of three very different Americans as well as her own to illustrate the consequences of governmental policies. Anecdotes from the lives of these three people as well as from her own childhood and then, life in the Senate, give reality to what I've been learning from books like "Democracy in Chains" and Bernie's "Our Revolution." Welcome to the budding American plutocracy!

She reviews the history of the policies that boomed the American Middle Class in the 1940's, 50's, and 60's. And points to Reagan's Trickle Down Economics as the source of the unraveling of the Middle Class and the growing wealth inequality that began in the 1980's.

Her title, "This Fight Is Our Fight," says what's in her heart--this is the most important fight of our lives, the fight to save our democracy from the corporations. Warren is more than admirable in her willingness to stand up for democracy and for our futures. And she urges us to do the same in whatever way that we each can.


0 of 1 people found this review helpful