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  • Stephen Fry’s Victorian Secrets

  • An Audible Original
  • By: John Woolf, Nick Baker
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 7 hrs and 33 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,488
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,633
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,592

On the surface, the Victorian age is one of propriety, industry, prudishness and piety. But scratch the surface and you’ll find scandal, sadism, sex, madness, malice and murder. Presented by Stephen Fry, this series delves deep into a period of time we think we know, to discover an altogether darker reality. The stories we’re told offer a different perspective on an era which underwent massive social change. As education, trade, technology and culture blossomed, why was there an undercurrent of the ‘forbidden’ festering beneath Victorian society? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Part history lesson, part audio documentary.

  • By brian on 11-01-18

Good entertainment

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-07-19

This book tells entertaining stories about the Victorian era, with a great performance by Stephen Fry, interviews with scholars, and scenes. The reason I didn't give it a 5 is that it has non-stop piano music behind the narration. That would have worked well once in a while for contrast, but they overdid it, and after a while it gets annoying.

  • A Legacy of Spies

  • A Novel
  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Tom Hollander
  • Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,720
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,589
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,578

Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley, and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A long slow conclusion to the Smiley series

  • By Chris Marlowe on 09-21-17

Noticeably lower volume than most audiobooks

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

Reviewed: 10-25-18

The story itself is excellent, as is the reader, but it's much harder to hear than most audiobooks. The volume is unusually low to begin with, and since it's a spy story, there's a lot of muttering and whispering. Especially when there's background noise, like traffic, you really have to use earbuds.

  • How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making

  • By: Ryan Hamilton, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Ryan Hamilton
  • Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 331

In How You Decide: The Science of Human Decision Making, Professor Ryan Hamilton, associate professor of marketing at Emory University's Goizueta Business School, uses research revealed via the scientific method to understand and explain human decision making. While his easygoing manner and anecdotes about surprising and bizarre choices will keep you enthralled, Professor Hamilton also shares what decision science has revealed through empirically tested theories.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Compelling and instructive

  • By Francy_B on 12-02-16

Generally very good

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

Reviewed: 10-15-18

This book covers a good variety of interesting topics, and the delivery is lively and engaging. The only problem is that the author is hung up on an analogy between the human mind and a machine. What he's saying is a lot clearer when he just says it, rather than going on and on and on with long, confusing tangents about levers and gears and dashboards.

  • New England Bound

  • Slavery and Colonization in Early America
  • By: Wendy Warren
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Wiley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

In a work that fundamentally recasts the history of colonial America, Wendy Warren shows how the institution of slavery was inexorably linked with the first century of English colonization of New England. While most histories of slavery in early America confine themselves to the Southern colonies and the Caribbean, New England Bound forcefully widens the historical aperture to include the entirety of English North America.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great work

  • By Paola V. Hidalgo on 06-27-17

Very well documented history

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

Reviewed: 08-16-18

This book does a good job of presenting a powerful story based on specific details from letters, registers, public records, and other historical documents. The introduction includes the author's opinions, but once you get into the book, there's very little preaching. There doesn't have to be, because the facts speak for themselves. While viewing themselves as godly people, the Puritans did things like buying cargoes of rotting fish very cheap to feed to the enslaved people, and ordering enslaved men to impregnate unwilling women in order to produce more property. No need for comment: it was what it was.

  • The Woman's Hour

  • The Great Fight to Win the Vote
  • By: Elaine Weiss
  • Narrated by: Elaine Weiss, Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 16 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 80
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 73

Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the 19th Amendment, 12 have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. The opposing forces include politicians with careers at stake, liquor companies, railroad magnates, and a lot of racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis" - women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the moral collapse of the nation.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Required listening

  • By Matthew Storrs on 04-01-18

Good book, poor choice of reader

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

The book itself is good, but I had to stop listening because the over-cutesy, little-girl delivery is a poor match for this book. Direct quotes from women's speeches are read in a mincing, exaggerated way that makes those women sound silly. It's ironic, in view of the topic, that women are still being rewarded for sounding like this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Awakening Compassion

  • Meditation Practices for Difficult Times
  • By: Pema Chodron
  • Narrated by: Pema Chodron
  • Length: 6 hrs and 48 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 388
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 201
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194

For over 800 years, Tibetan Buddhists have used lojong (literally, "mind training") to transform difficulties into insights, and conflict into genuine communication. Lojong practice uses a special meditation technique and 59 written maxims - a treasury of practical wisdom that inspires everyday awareness. Awakening Compassion is the first audio retreat on the practice of lojong taught by Pema Chödrön, the American-born Tibetan Buddhist nun and best-selling author.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Pema Is A Hidden Treasure

  • By Tammy on 07-09-07

Content helpful, sound quality poor

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

Reviewed: 04-26-18

I've listened to several of Pema Chodron's recorded books, and although this one is useful, it's enough like what she's said elsewhere that I almost stopped listening because the sound quality is so poor. After about half an hour, though, the narration stops, and then starts again with a different mic. It's still not professional quality; most of us could get clearer sound with a cellphone recorder, and her habit of dropping her voice at the ends of sentences doesn't help. Still, it's worth persevering, because it does become possible to get most of what she's saying.

  • Stress Relief

  • Relax the Body and Calm the Mind, Restore Balance, and Resolve Difficult Situations
  • By: Martin L. Rossman
  • Narrated by: Martin L. Rossman
  • Length: 1 hr and 7 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 5

Stress is a normal part of life, but too much stress can wera us out and lower our resistance to illness. On Stress Relief, Dr. Martin L. Rossman provides clinically proven techniques for managing both the internal and external causes of stress. "These practices often yield immediate, positive results," explains Dr. Rossman.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent relaxation technique

  • By 6R8Dane on 06-24-10

Very good up to the last few minutes

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

Reviewed: 03-19-18

This recording offers three relaxation exercises, each building on the one before. They come one right after the other without a lot of lecturing in between, which I like. They're basically self-hypnosis, where you imagine yourself going down a flight of stairs to deeper consciousness. The last one goes into the spirit guide imagery that Jack Kornfield often uses, where they insist that you personify wisdom and compassion as a being you can interact with - either a real person living or dead, or a religious or imaginary figure. What it's really getting at is the wisdom and compassion within ourselves, or that we have access to, and I don't like the one-size-fits-all demand that we HAVE to personify it into a being we can talk to. I'm sure that technique is helpful to many people, or meditation teachers wouldn't keep doing it, but I wish they'd make it optional. At least some of us who are agnostics or atheists aren't going to be willing to personify those forces into a figment of our own imagination any more than we're willing to call them God. We just don't do that process.

  • Pimsleur Italian Level 4

  • Learn to Speak and Understand Italian with Pimsleur Language Programs
  • By: Pimsleur
  • Narrated by: Pimsleur
  • Length: 17 hrs and 6 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

A new 30-unit course designed to be completed after Italian Level 3 (replaces the Italian Phase 4, Units 1-10 course). Thirty 30-minute lessons totaling 15 hours of spoken Italian language learning, plus one hour of reading lessons designed to expand your vocabulary, expose you to a variety of cultural events, and give you practice reading and hearing Italian.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Educational Experience, but...

  • By Jane Eyre on 04-01-14

Good technique but impractical vocabulary

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

Reviewed: 02-06-18

I really like the way these lessons are structured, with lots of repetition, and one thing building on another. I wish, though, that the vocabulary were more useful for a beginner - like colors, parts of the body, and clothing rather than lesson after lesson about playing tennis and golf, and about opera singers, painters, and art reviews. I'm all in favor of the arts, but I'd first like to know words that are more basic to daily life, and more broadly useful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Medical School for Everyone: Emergency Medicine

  • By: Roy Benaroch, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Roy Benaroch
  • Length: 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 713
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 653
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 649

In Dr. Benaroch's 24 lectures, experience for yourself the high-stakes drama and medical insights of life in an everyday emergency department: the most intense department in any hospital and home to the kind of split-second decision making, troubleshooting, and detective work that can make the difference between a patient's life and death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you're into this sort of thing....

  • By Norman B. Bernstein on 11-27-15

I can't believe this is meant for adult listeners

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

Reviewed: 12-10-17

I suppose they're trying to be accessible and entertaining, but it's SO basic it's boring, with even more boring asides like a lecture on why you shouldn't mind waiting in an emergency room. It's delivered in a deliberate, sing-song way, as if speaking to a grammar school class.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Thinking Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman: An Action Steps Summary and Analysis

  • By: SpeedReader Summaries
  • Narrated by: Michael Gilboe
  • Length: 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 75
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 74

Daniel Kahneman's purpose in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, is to bring within the grasp of everyday understanding the power of psychology, perception, illogical thinking, irrationality, and behavioral economics. Arguably Kahneman's most famous publication, the book summarizes research that he has conducted over decades and decades. Inside, Kahneman explains how we, as humans, often think and behave irrationally due to faulty intuition, biases, and erroneous mental shortcuts and how these patterns of thought can hold us back.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • By far the best of the summaries

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-16-17

By far the best of the summaries

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-16-17

Since I'm going to teach Thinking Fast and Slow in a college class, I read the book itself and then listened to all the summaries available on Audible. Without doubt, this is the best - in fact, it's the only one worth using. The others present a chapter-by-chapter summary that's useless if not misleading, since what's said about each chapter consists of a few sentences taken out of context by someone who doesn't seem to have understood the book. By contrast, this summary, organized by topic, gives a sensible and accurate summary of the book's main points. If my students want to cheat by reading a summary, this is the only one that could possibly do them any good.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful