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Kirstine

Kirstine Bonnyrigg, United Kingdom Member Since 2007
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  • "Outstandingly well-read and enjoyab..."

    Overall

    Melvyn Bragg writes in an accessible style well-suited to be read aloud. He has been well-served by the reader, Robert Powell, who has brought the book alive by his outstanding ability to pronounce all the variants of English that can only be depicted by phonetic symbols on the page. The use of the word 'Adventure' in the title is apposite as the book is as lively as a good historical novel.

    More

    The Adventure of English: The Biography of a Language

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Melvyn Bragg
    • Narrated By Robert Powell
    Overall
    (273)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (37)

    This is the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion, and trade, but also the story of people, and how their lives continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

    Francis says: "All the voices"
  • "A captivating account of an adventu..."

    Overall

    David Attenborough is a giant of natural history and this book charting his many TV series brought home to me just what a contribution he's made to our understanding of the natural world. I hadn't really realized what hardships and privations he's had to go through to capture the footage of unusual life forms in inaccessible places. It's fascinating to hear how the advances in technology have aided his work and enabled him and his team of dedicated camera and sound men bring the natural world into our living rooms. This is a wonderful book and I enjoyed every minute of it. Attenborough is an excellent raconteur with a lively sense of humour. Unreservedly recommended as a great listen.

    More

    David Attenborough - Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By David Attenborough
    • Narrated By David Attenborough
    Overall
    (736)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (281)

    His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned nearly five decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited. In this volume of memoirs David tells stories of the people and animals he has met and the places that he has visited. Over the last 25 years he has established himself as the world's leading Natural History programme maker with several landmark BBC series.

    Mark says: "Unforgettable David"
  • "Entertaining"

    Overall

    I've enjoyed a number of Bill Bryson books and found this book generally entertaining. It's the kind of book I usually relish with lots of interesting facts and figures. I thought the first third of the book about cosmology worthy of 5 stars, but I got a bit glassy-eyed with the stream of facts and figures in the middle of the book dealing with taxonomy, which even I found less than riveting. Most of the physics and chemistry was familiar to me, but not the biographical stories about the scientists who made the discoveries with their revealing and all too human foibles. Surprisingly, I found the parts dealing with my field of expertise, biochemistry and molecular biology, some of the least inspiring and sketchy such that I think many wouldn't get just how exciting it can be. The last third or so of the book about the evolution of humans was again worthy of 5 stars.

    There are some gaps in what he included, for example, mathematics, the basis of so much in science, was barely touched on and one would get the impression that only scientists in the West made all the discoveries, whereas we now know that many were already made in China and India, to name but two Eastern Civilizations.

    I've see other reviews that have been critical and pointed out errors in the narrative. I detected a few, but generally thought, that for a layman, Bryson did a very good job of covering an enormous sweep of science and making it entertaining.

    More

    A Short History of Nearly Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By William Roberts
    Overall
    (1815)
    Performance
    (466)
    Story
    (461)

    A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's fascinating and humorous quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.

    Roy says: "A short Review of Nearly Everything"
  1. The Adventure of English:...
  2. David Attenborough - Life...
  3. A Short History of Nearly...
  4. .

A thrilling, true story

An extraordinary space odyssey

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