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  • A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage
  • By: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,996
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,301
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,293

At the end of her best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect timing

  • By Nancy on 01-15-10

She writes like your best friend.

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

Reviewed: 05-21-16

Whether you are thinking about getting married or a newlywed or married for awhile, this book will speak to you like a best friend we all wish she could and would. You listen and think, along with a brilliant yet vulnerable woman, who is going through the same journey as you are going through, with all the confusion and conviction regarding marriage, without judgment but only deep understanding of humanity. I feel grateful at many levels to have listened to this book.

  • Vagabonding

  • An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
  • By: Rolf Potts
  • Narrated by: Rolf Potts
  • Length: 4 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,597
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,088
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,083

Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life - from six weeks to four months to two years - to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I wanted to love this book...

  • By Scott Shepherd on 10-10-16

Inspiring and practical

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

Reviewed: 05-18-16

This book is written by someone who is both thoughtful and practical with many years of experience in world long term travel. At times it reminded me of Paul Theroux – observant, contemplative and insightful into other cultures, yet, the author of this book has provided more valuable practical tips on travel. While the book no doubt will benefit people of all ages, I think it’s particularly useful for people in their 30s or 40s, who are in reasonably good health condition, have worked in a routine environment and are wondering what’s next in their life.

  • China Road

  • A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power
  • By: Rob Gifford
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 10 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 563
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 301
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 298

National Public Radio's Beijing correspondent Rob Gifford recounts his travels along Route 312, the Chinese Mother Road, the longest route in the world's most populous nation. Based on his successful NPR radio series, China Road draws on Gifford's 20 years of observing first-hand this rapidly transforming country, as he travels east to west, from Shanghai to China's border with Kazakhstan. As he takes listeners on this journey, he also takes them through China's past and present while he tries to make sense of this complex nation's potential future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing book

  • By Anonymous User on 10-20-07

Excellent!

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

Reviewed: 05-12-16

The author knows what he is talking about. He has deep understanding of China and a sympathetic yet balanced analysis of today's China. The narrator is superb as well. Get this book , you won't be disappointed.

  • The Italian Renaissance

  • By: Kenneth R. Bartlett, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Kenneth R. Bartlett
  • Length: 18 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 326
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 295
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 296

The effects of the Italian Renaissance are still with us today, from the incomparable paintings of Leonardo da Vinci to the immortal writings of Petrarch and Machiavelli. But why was there such an artistic, cultural, and intellectual explosion in Italy at the start of the 14th century? Why did it occur in Italy? And why in certain Italian city-states such as Florence? Professor Bartlett probes these questions and more in 36 dynamic lectures.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Course but need written text

  • By Listen on 07-04-14

Great Course but need written text

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

Reviewed: 07-04-14

Any additional comments?

I am a big fan of Professor Bartlett. History could be full of wars, names and dates which tend to be pretty boring, but Bartlett has managed to keep audience interested by personalizing the historical figures, their background, character, journey in the way that you and I can related. He also provided various aspects of the Italian culture that we still can see today when we visit the country. In so doing, ancient history becomes highly relevant to today’s Italy and Italians, and how we appreciate them.

The major annoyance is the fact that the written material (course outlines) is not included in the Great Course lectures. Yes, Audible made a disclaimer, but still, with so much information contained in these lectures, how can Audible expect listeners to properly gain enough knowledge without some written material? Simple things like how the names are spelled and which dates related to what events/figures are all part of the reason why written text is necessary for learning. I will have to buy his written text separately to compensate.

That said, I still highly recommend it because the lectures are just too good to miss.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean

  • By: Kenneth R. Bartlett, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Kenneth R. Bartlett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 288
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 262
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261

Take a riveting tour of the Italian peninsula, from the glittering canals of Venice to the lavish papal apartments and ancient ruins of Rome. In these 24 lectures, Professor Bartlett traces the development of the Italian city-states of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, showing how the modern nation of Italy was forged out of the rivalries, allegiances, and traditions of a vibrant and diverse people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • European political history taken to the next level

  • By Quaker on 02-27-15

Great course with some redundancy

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

Reviewed: 07-04-14

Would you consider the audio edition of The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean to be better than the print version?

No. With so much information contained in these lectures, one cannot properly gain enough knowledge without some written material. Simple things like, how the names are spelled and which dates related to what events/figures are just part of the reason why written text is necessary for learning history.

Would you recommend The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes and no. See my comment below.

What does Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

N/A.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No.

Any additional comments?

After I listened to his “The Italian Renaissance”, I became a big fan of Professor Bartlett. History could be full of wars, names and dates tend to be pretty boring, but Bartlett has managed to keep audience interested by personalizing the historical figures, their background, character, journey in the way that you and I can related. He also provided various aspects of the Italian culture that we still can see today when we visit the country. In so doing, ancient history becomes highly relevant to today’s Italy and Italians.

One thing I am not entirely satisfied with this course is that there are a number of chapters seem to be directly copied from his “The Italian Renaissance”, or vise versa. The material is all great, but if you purchase one, the other doesn’t seem to add much value.

Another thing I am unhappy about it is the fact that the lack of course outlines in the Great Course series. With the huge amount of information delivered in these lectures, some written material will be most helpful for the students to review and solidify what’s learned. I will have to buy his written book as a suppliment.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Symphonies of Beethoven

  • By: Robert Greenberg, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Greenberg
  • Length: 24 hrs and 12 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 288
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 265
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 261

Ludwig van Beethoven is justifiably acclaimed as one of the most revered composers in the history of Western music-a genius once characterized as a "Titan, wrestling with the gods." There is no better way for you to understand the full impact of that description than to not only listen to all nine of his magnificent symphonies, but to do so with a full understanding of what this great composer was saying and the circumstances that drove him up to and beyond what had once been considered the limits of musical expression.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Truly the course materials MUST be made available.

  • By Christopher James on 09-23-14

Where is the course outlines?

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

Reviewed: 08-13-13

Any additional comments?

The Great Courses series is a wonderful new addition and I am really delighted to get all these wonderful courses at such an affordable price (if you pay for credits), but oddly enough, unlike other audio courses such as the Modern Scholar series, the outlines are not included. This is a major disappointment thus 3 stars for overall. I hope Audible will correct this defect.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • The Modern Scholar

  • Religions of the East: Paths to Enlightenment
  • By: Professor Stephen Prothero
  • Narrated by: Professor Stephen Prothero
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 94
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 46

The main aim of this course is to cultivate basic literacy in the principal religions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. This course explores the origins of these religious traditions in Asia and their transplantation to the United States. The course focuses on three related issues: why religion matters, what the term "religion" means, and how Asian religions - especially Buddhism and Confucianism - wonderfully complicate that term.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A scholarly presentation

  • By Chi-Hung on 06-29-10

Over promise, under delivery

Overall
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-22-11

This is an ambitious project, which is unfortunately undelivered I my view. The descriptions were over-simplistic and they were accompanied with shallow explanations and examples that overall the lecturer did not do justice to this extraordinarily profound and complex subject. Also, being as a professor of Eastern religious study, the lecturer's inability to properly pronounce some of the key concepts is just shocking. Surely one of his Chinese or Japanese-speaking undergrads could have given him a lesson or two around the recording time.

Having listened a dozen of books in this Modern Scholar collection and generally satisfied with overall quality and value of these books, I have to say that this one is probably the most disappointing one.

Two stars for the effort.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Classic Russian Short Stories, Volume 1

  • By: Alexander Pushkin, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, and others
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 137
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 60

Russian literature exudes an atmosphere of mysticism, which is said to be a natural result of the simplicity of her people. Often, instead of being "about" anything, Russian stories sometimes seem to be the "thing" in itself. Be this as it may, it is an undeniable fact that with hardly any portent of future greatness to come, Russian literature suddenly sprang fully developed into existence in the 19th century.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just few hors d'oeuvres of Russian literature

  • By john on 02-25-10

The finest!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-04-11

This is one of the best performances I've listened. The music is very thoughtfully chosen. Highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful