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  • Harry Potter: A History of Magic

  • An Audio Documentary
  • By: Pottermore Publishing, Ben Davies
  • Narrated by: Natalie Dormer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,556
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,442
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,433

The history of magic is as long as time and as wide as the world. In every culture, in every age, in every place and, probably, in every heart, there is magic. Harry Potter: A History of Magic reveals some of the hidden stories behind real-world magic and explores some of J.K. Rowling's magical inventions alongside their folkloric, cultural and historical forebears.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An enjoyable making-of documentary of sorts

  • By Tasha on 10-04-18

Not as bad as some say, but not as good as it could have been

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

Reviewed: 10-12-18

Though I don’t feel this is a 5 star book, I gave it that to try to help balance out the ratings. As I feel a good amount of people rated this book based on how much it deviated from their expectations. Not trying to be disrespectful to them, but this book does match up with the description on audible.

I think most individuals who like history and Harry Potter will enjoy this book. I think it is a fascinating premise, and it was somewhat executed well, but it wasn’t nearly as good as it could have been. I do think the interviews is what really detracts from how engaging and interesting the audiobook is. For one, a great deal of interviews had me wondering if anyone actually listened to the audio, as the interviewee was virtually whispering, mumbling, or the audio was too low. Additionally, I feel this book is too long and it kinda gets annoying jumping from interview to interview. A lot of the interviews or snippets were superfluous and could have easily been cut out. I think if they would have sifted out some interviews and/or just had Natalie Dormer read summaries or quotes of the interviews it would have been a much more engaging book. Lastly, some parts were a little dry as it was talking about artifacts that you can’t see cause you’re listening to the audiobook.

I did see some review say Natalie Dormer was over the top with narration, which I did not see at all. She was the perfect narrator for this and I really wish she just read the whole book. And truthfully, I found the real world history behind the magical stuff in Harry Potter and different insights into how the books were created prettty cool. Though I think it was more my love of history that kept me reading than my love of Harry Potter. If you’re someone who loves Harry Potter but not that intrigued by history, this book probably isn’t for you.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Dare to Lead

  • Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
  • By: Brené Brown
  • Narrated by: Brené Brown
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4,705
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4,206
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,155

Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying the emotions and experiences that give meaning to our lives, and the past seven years working with transformative leaders and teams spanning the globe. She found that leaders in organizations ranging from small entrepreneurial startups and family-owned businesses to nonprofits, civic organizations, and Fortune 50 companies all ask the same question: How do you cultivate braver, more daring leaders, and how do you embed the value of courage in your culture? This audiobook answers this question.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Similar, but insightful nonetheless

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-11-18

Similar, but insightful nonetheless

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

Reviewed: 10-11-18

As with any Brene Brown book, this book is full of wisdom and insights. IMO, Brene Brown is one of the most articulate writers and makes complex/ abstract ideas practical and easy to understand, and it really shines in this book.

I took off one star because if you have read any of her books before, this one will have a general brush of deja vu, as there is a lot of rehash from her other books. I was mostly disappointed in the last part, which felt pretty much copy and paste from “Rising Strong”.

That being said, moving forward I think I will return to this book the most out of her books, as it is a great synthesis of all her ideas. Even if you’ve read her work before, still highly recommend :)

120 of 132 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief History of Time

  • By: Stephen Hawking
  • Narrated by: Michael Jackson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,060
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,839
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,814

This landmark book is for those of us who prefer words to equations; this is the story of the ultimate quest for knowledge, the ongoing search for the secrets at the heart of time and space. Its author, Stephen W. Hawking, is arguably the greatest mind since Einstein. From the vantage point of the wheelchair, where he has spent the last 20 years trapped by Lou Gehrig's disease, Professor Hawking has transformed our view of the universe. A Brief History of Time is Hawking's classic introduction to today's most important scientific ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Easily Digestible Presentation of Complex Topics

  • By James on 05-19-04

Monumental book. Needs a new narrator

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

Reviewed: 08-27-18

I don’t feel like I can really say anything about this book that hasn’t been said before. It’s incredible, and a classic for a reason. Highly recommended.

As others have mentioned, the narration is pretty poor. I’m thoroughly convinced this is the first time he read the book. The sample isn’t indicative of the quality, as his voice is rather pleasant, the issue pretty much everything else.

He constantly uh’s and errs throughout the book, which definitely gets more bothersome as the book progresses. His cadance is very strange, sometimes he moves too quickly, other times he has elongated pause between or within words. Truthfully, some parts it felt like he was trying to understand the book as he read it.

I absolutely love Audible, but it’s books like these where I wish it had a system to go through reviews, and redo the narrations. All that being said, I think you should still get the audiobook if considering it!

  • Quackery

  • A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
  • By: Lydia Kang, Nate Pedersen
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 10 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 118
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 118

What won't we try in our quest for perfect health, beauty, and the fountain of youth? Well, just imagine a time when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When liquefied gold was touted as immortality in a glass. And when strychnine - yes, that strychnine, the one used in rat poison - was dosed like Viagra. Looking back with fascination, horror, and not a little dash of dark, knowing humor, Quackery recounts the lively, at times unbelievable, history of medical misfires and malpractices. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very interesting book

  • By Inna Schickler on 08-09-18

Fascinating

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

I’ve been waiting to read this book for a while so I was super happy when audible got it, and I was not disappointed. This book is a fascinating blend of history, “science” and wit. I consider myself well read in medicine and medical history and though some stories I’ve heard before, I still learned about from this book! I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t, unless you majored in medical history.

Although the narrator was perfect, I found whatever they used to record her to sound a little too robotic. This distracts from how engaging the book is imo. It wasn’t as bad as other books as I still finished, but I still wish it sounded more human.

That being said, if the title peaks your interest I highly recommend this book as I doubt you’ll be disappointed. However, if you have the time to pick book vs audible, id recommend getting the book due to the slightly “robotic” narration. Or at least give the sample a go!

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Sun Does Shine

  • Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection
  • By: Anthony Ray Hinton, Lara Love Hardin, Bryan Stevenson - foreword
  • Narrated by: Bryan Stevenson - foreword, Kevin R. Free
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,666
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,430
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,419

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only 29 years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. But with an incompetent defense attorney and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in despairing silence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • DOWN WITH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT!!!

  • By MUDDBONE on 04-29-18

Phenomenal

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

Reviewed: 06-22-18

This is by far one of the best books I’ve read on audible, if not the best. I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t find this book inspiring, eye-opening and moving. I’m not the emotional type but I had to pull over when driving at the end, this book really got to me. And to top it off the narration was outstanding. The only bad thing I can say about this book is I can’t rate it more than 5 stars. To say I recommend it is an understatement!

  • What Doesn't Kill Us

  • How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength
  • By: Scott Carney
  • Narrated by: Scott Carney
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,073
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,744
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,735

Our ancestors crossed deserts, mountains, and oceans without even a whisper of what anyone today might consider modern technology. Those feats of endurance now seem impossible in an age where we take comfort for granted. But what if we could regain some of our lost evolutionary strength by simulating the environmental conditions of our forbears? Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney takes up the challenge to find out: Can we hack our bodies and use the environment to stimulate our inner biology?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome book

  • By C. Toering on 02-22-17

Mixed bag but mostly good

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

Reviewed: 06-13-18

I wanted to love this book but as stated in the title, I found it to be a mixed bag. The science itself is pretty school and I loved that aspect of the book. Although as other reviews noted, the science is backed by weak evidence and there is a lot of confusion with correlation and causation.

What I especially didn’t like about the book was the stories. While most of them were inspiring, the author weaved in so many superfluous details that didn’t add any value to the narrative, I found it aggravating. He could have trimmed a lot to make the flow a lot better. Not as big of a deal but the chapters seemed to jump around, it didn’t really feel fluid or a logical progression of events.

That being said, I would still recommend this book if the title peaks your interest. You’ll for sure learn some things (though don’t take everything he says as the absolute truth) and it has definitely inspired me to change some of my habits and try something new.

  • When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

  • By: Daniel H. Pink
  • Narrated by: Daniel H. Pink
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,434
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,157
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,145

Everyone knows that timing is everything. But we don't know much about timing itself. Our lives are a never-ending stream of "when" decisions: when to start a business, schedule a class, get serious about a person. Yet we make those decisions based on intuition and guesswork. Timing, it's often assumed, is an art. In When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, Pink shows that timing is really a science.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fun. Enlightening. Fast Paced.

  • By W. Brooks on 01-11-18

Get this one at the library

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

Reviewed: 01-25-18

I was actually really excited to listen to this book, it seemed like the first of its kind. However, I found that most of the information I already knew, it’s just woven in a different way in this book with some new stories.

If you’re not that big of a reader I would recommend this book as it covers a lot of topics and has some practical tips. If you are an avid reader, I wouldn’t recommend this book for you as you’ve probably read the information somewhere before.

The narration itself wasn’t that bad. But I was honestly annoyed by how many times I heard him breathe in between sentences. It doesn’t sound bad, but I found it distracting.

  • Soonish

  • Ten Emerging Technologies That'll Improve and/or Ruin Everything
  • By: Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith
  • Narrated by: Kelly Weinersmith, Zach Weinersmith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 882
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 807
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 801

In this smart and funny book, celebrated cartoonist Zach Weinersmith and noted researcher Dr. Kelly Weinersmith give us a snapshot of what's coming next - from robot swarms to nuclear fusion powered-toasters. By weaving their own research and interviews with the scientists who are making these advances happen, the Weinersmiths investigate why these technologies are needed, how they would work, and what is standing in their way.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really Good-ish!

  • By See Reverse on 04-16-18

As fascinating as it is not funny

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

Reviewed: 01-01-18

Unlike some reviewers I have not heard of Zach and Kelly before this but I thought they did a great job with this book! It covered a breadth of scientific topics and explained things exceptionally well. Depending on your knowledge, some sections will probably be a little more rudimentary than others.

While I appreciated the light hearted approach to subjects covered, I honestly didn’t find their jokes funny, they fell flat on most occasions. If you look at the goodreads reviews you’ll realize I’m not the only one who thought this. However, this didn’t take away from the book (most of the time) because they were superb at keeping the subject matter fascinating and I learned a lot and think most people who read this will too!

Audible vs the print version? While I love listening to audiobooks sometimes I do feel books are better as print. I thought this would be one of them due to the comics. However, I don’t think you need this book in the print as the comics are few and far between. Plus Kelly (narrates most of the book) does a great job! Well worth your credit.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • The Four Tendencies

  • The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People's Lives Better, Too)
  • By: Gretchen Rubin
  • Narrated by: Gretchen Rubin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,049
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 916
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 904

Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin ( The Happiness Project; Better Than Before) reveals the surprising truth about the four hidden personality types that drive everything we do. Learn how to understand yourself better - and also how to influence others more effectively.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Listen to it right away! Amazing!

  • By John Beddoe on 09-13-17

Valuable and insightful, with a few caveats

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

Reviewed: 12-29-17

I highly enjoyed this book by Gretchen Rubin and think it is a valuable tool for anyone! It definitely helped explain some of my idiosyncrasies and helped me understand some of my close family members and friends.

However, there were a few gripes I had with this book. Because it is not based in scientific evidence, there are a lot of personal anecdotes within the book and sometimes it felt like too much. This also led to repetitiveness in the book, for example, she built the case that obligers need external accountability and I grasped that concept, but the examples kept flooding in and it felt repetitive. Finally, she acknowledges that these tendencies are just a component of your personality, but sometimes it seemed she over exaggerated the tendencies in the examples provided.

Regardless of my gripes, I do think it is insightful information that people should read! You will definitely understand yourself and people you are close with much better, well worth the credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

  • By: Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Narrated by: Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Length: 3 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,864
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 22,277
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,080

What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson. But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in digestible chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome book for those new to astrophysics.

  • By TMort on 06-07-17

Not what I was hoping for

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

Reviewed: 12-14-17

I love NDT, he has talk me a lot of things and I really appreciate his perspective, the way he explains things and how he rekindles interest in the cosmos and science.

This book is true to its title. But I think it could also be called “Astrophysics for those who haven’t heard NDT speak before” or “Astrophysics for those without a scientific background”.

I have read a lot of NDT’s previous work and their was a lot of the same stuff here. It is a great book if you’re new to the subject or want a general, concise overview of Astrophysics. But if you’d read his books before or other stuff on Astrophysics I don’t much will be new here.