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D. Berzack

  • 40
  • reviews
  • 216
  • helpful votes
  • 78
  • ratings
  • A Mind of Her Own

  • By: Paula McLain
  • Narrated by: Hillary Huber
  • Length: 1 hr and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 13,458
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,110
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 12,087

Paris, 1893. Twenty-five-year-old Marie Sklodowska is studying science at the Sorbonne - one of the only universities in the world that has begun to admit women. A thousand miles from her native Poland, with no money and the odds stacked against any woman daring to pursue a career in such a rigorous field, Marie throws herself into her studies. She's certain that to succeed in a man's world, she will have to go it alone. Her meticulous plans get thrown slightly off-course when Marie attracts the attention of an accomplished young physicist, himself on the precipice of greatness.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Based on a true story

  • By Kingsley on 03-01-19

short and sweet

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

Reviewed: 03-05-19

This is less of a scientific biography than a love story or a feminist pep talk. Even at that, it's shallow and mostly pointless. As a free download, it's a pleasant enough waste of a couple hours, but I certainly would see against wasting a credit or any amount of money.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • What Matters Most

  • Living a More Considered Life
  • By: James Hollis Ph.D.
  • Narrated by: Jim Bond
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93

Taking a fresh look at the concept of happiness, Hollis uses a warm, accessible tone to encourage listeners to learn to tolerate ambiguity, embrace growth rather than security, respect the power of Eros, engage spiritual crises, and acknowledge the shadow of mortality. Providing inspiring wisdom and personal reflections to address our deepest worries, What Matters Most yields far more than mere self-help clichés.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Leaves Other Self-Help Books In the Dust

  • By EC on 10-27-09

Provocative, densely academic, and badly narrated

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

Reviewed: 02-20-19

This isn't fluffy self-help by some TV celebrity. It's heavy, intellectual stuff, and at the same time energized and expressive. Not a relaxing read, but very rewarding. The mixed responses to this book are predictable: 5 stars from intellectuals who enjoy the unapologetic rigor that sets this book apart, and 1 star from folks who would be more comfortable with Oprah's latest.

Unfortunately, the narration is really mediocre. The text is delivered with the stoney, strong-jawed baritone of a news anchorman or a 1950's superhero ("The Incredible Mr. Monotone"). The guy's name is James Bond, and he seems to really roll with that. He reads the words strongly and clearly, tromping through the big words with charismatic pomp, and no apparent regard for their meaning or any human sentiment they might affect. It does the job, but sells the book short.


It's still well worth a listen... just a shame about the voicing.

  • Stoicism Collection: Meditations, On the Shortness of Life, and Enchiridion

  • By: Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Epictetus
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Waters
  • Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 42
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

This Stoicism audiobook collection contains three of the most influential Stoic pieces. Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus helped to shape Stoicism with their writings of "Meditations", "On the Shortness of Life", and "Enchiridion". 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Timeless wisdom for the ages.

  • By cosmitron on 05-09-18

Dry, stilted, and thoroughly unenjoyable

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

Reviewed: 02-06-19

The narrator dutifully reads the classic text, delivering an audio rendition completely devoid of emotion, style or interest. He even pronounces the passage numbers, disrupting any natural flow you might find in his robotic delivery.
It's as if the publisher doesn't understand the difference in experience between listening to an audiobook and reading a reference manual.
There's simply no reason to listen to this.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • How to Talk So Little Kids Will Listen

  • A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7
  • By: Joanna Faber, Julie King
  • Narrated by: Heather Alicia Simms, Michele Pawk, Candace Thaxton, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,114
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 955
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 939

What do you do with a little kid who...won't brush her teeth...screams in his car seat...pinches the baby...refuses to eat vegetables...runs rampant in the supermarket? Organized according to common challenges and conflicts, this book is an essential emergency first-aid manual of communication strategies, including a chapter that addresses the special needs of children with sensory processing and autism spectrum disorders.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting, practical, useful.

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-25-17

A cloying, long-winded, pointless cash grab

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

The original "How to Talk" is a seminal classic. This book offers virtually nothing new, just a lot of blathering chatter to fill pages, delivered with a grating, nasal voice.

It feels like they're just milking the brand. Please, do yourself a favor and read the original - it's nothing short of life changing - and avoid this garbage.

  • Out of My Mind

  • By: Alan Arkin
  • Narrated by: Alan Arkin
  • Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,862
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 6,253
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,227

In this Audible Original “mini-memoir”, the Academy Award-winning star of Little Miss Sunshine and Argo looks back on his life as a series of philosophical turning points, learning experiences, and a-ha moments. Drawn from a collection of seemingly inexplicable stories and encounters from Arkin's 84 years on this planet, Out of My Mind is a candid, relatable and delightfully irreverent take on how one man went searching for meaning and ended up discovering himself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing journey into Alan's self!

  • By Amazon Customer on 12-09-18

Lightly amusing and deeply provocative

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

Reviewed: 01-09-19

These little stories and musings meander through the dark territory of spirituality and the supernatural with casual sincerity, and no apparent ideology or agenda. It's really a unique and lovely piece of writing, particularly be well suited to the audio format.

  • The Man on the Mountaintop

  • An Audible Original Drama
  • By: Susan Trott, Libby Spurrier - adaptor
  • Narrated by: Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Clare Corbett, and others
  • Length: 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,497
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14,178

The Man on the Mountaintop tells the story of Holy Man Joe, an ageing and unassuming man who lives in a hermitage on top of a mountain. During the summer months, thousands of hopefuls line the path leading to his door, seeking his wisdom. From bombastic, wealthy nobles intent on cheating their way to the top to drunkards who gradually build the physical and mental strength they need to quit their addiction, The Man on the Mountaintop is a rousing tale full of humour, wit and life lessons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Simple - which is all you really need

  • By Solunari on 02-01-19

These stories are cute, but shallow.

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

This collection of parables is pleasant enough: a survey of the basics of wisdom traditions. But if you're at all familiar with the fundamentals of morality and personal philosophy, you may find it heavy-handed, obvious, childish, and a general waste of time.

21 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Happy

  • Why More or Less Everything Is Absolutely Fine
  • By: Derren Brown
  • Narrated by: Derren Brown
  • Length: 14 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 147

Across the millennia, philosophers have thought long and hard about happiness. They have defined it in many different ways and come up with myriad strategies for living the good life. Drawing on this vast body of work, in Happy Derren Brown explores changing concepts of happiness - from the surprisingly modern wisdom of the Stoics and Epicureans in classical times right up until today, when the self-help industry has attempted to claim happiness as its own. He shows how many of self-help’s suggested routes to happiness and success - such as positive thinking, self-belief and setting goals - can be disastrous to follow and, indeed, actually cause anxiety. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A witty and thoughtful take on stoicism

  • By Sam Russell on 04-07-19

A philosophical chat with a smart, charming buddy

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

Reviewed: 01-07-19

"Happy" is a survey of applied philosophy. like Derren himself, it's very intelligent and approachable. But unlike his TV specials and stage shows, it's not especially memorable.

The value of this book depends heavily on where you stand. I'm quite familiar with philosophy and already on board with Stoic ideals, so this provided a pleasant review, but nothing groundbreaking. For some, this book may be life-changing.

In any case, the audio format is key. Derren's charismatic intellect resonates through his reading, and I think much would be lost in a text version.

Note: Derren, if somehow you read this, they definitely did muck up the cover.

  • Boy's Life

  • By: Robert R. McCammon
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 20 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,569
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,403
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,404

Zephyr, Alabama, is an idyllic hometown for eleven-year-old Cory Mackenson - a place where monsters swim the river deep and friends are forever. Then, one cold spring morning, Cory and his father witness a car plunge into a lake - and a desperate rescue attempt brings his father face-to-face with a terrible, haunting vision of death. As Cory struggles to understand his father's pain, his eyes are slowly opened to the forces of good and evil that surround him.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I did not expect to like this book.

  • By Adele Beeman on 06-18-15

An enchanting story, wonderfully told

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

There's real magic in this book, and the narration captures it, with a sparkling lilt and colorful, believable voices for the ensemble of characters. I recommend this audiobook whole heartedly.

  • The Bhagavad Gita

  • By: Eknath Easwaran
  • Narrated by: Paul Bazely
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,989
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,774
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,773

The Bhagavad Gita, "The Song of the Lord", is the best known of all the Indian scriptures, and Easwaran's reliable and accessible version has consistently been the best-selling translation. Easwaran's introduction places the Gita in its historical setting and brings out the universality and timelessness of its teachings. Chapter introductions give clear explanations of key concepts in that chapter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Content and narration reduced me to tears

  • By laurie on 01-11-16

a beautiful reading of the classic

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

Reviewed: 08-22-18

the reviews here cover it. it's worth noting that this audiobook includes both a long annotated version with an intro before each chapter and a short version with just the full text. so after you've read the former to get an understanding of the text, you can enjoy rereading the latter again and again for a dinner of inspiration, wisdom and spiritual guidance.

  • The Santaroga Barrier

  • By: Frank Herbert
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

Santaroga seemed to be nothing more than a prosperous farm community. But there was something...different...about Santaroga. Santaroga had no juvenile delinquency, or any crime at all. Outsiders found no house for sale or rent in this valley, and no one ever moved out. No one bought cigarettes in Santaroga. No cheese, wine, beer, or produce from outside the valley could be sold there. The list went on and on and grew stranger and stranger....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Republic of Holy Prayer

  • By James Douglas Wingate on 07-07-17

Intriguing story, but too long

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

Reviewed: 07-31-18

This is good science fiction, but unremarkable and forgettable. Presumably it was more culturally shocking around the time of its release. Today, it has the feel of a dusty, slightly mildewed heirloom: quite lovely in its essence, but without any luster.