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General Non-Fiction

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FM Veteran

FM Veteran UK Member Since 2012
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • "Well argued dissent"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Having liked all Ridley’s science books, I was worried to hear about this one. I suspected that he, a Tory peer, was lurching into political writing in defence of climate-change denial. So I put off reading it for three years; but I wish now that I hadn’t. Though presenting an optimistic view at odds with most scientists, it produces a shipload of facts, data and evidence in support – enough to have me questioning my own assumptions. If you’re convinced that the world’s going to hell in a handcart and you won’t hear otherwise, stay well away. But if you can entertain conflicting ideas simultaneously, this one’s for you.

    As for Ridley’s thesis: hearing the historical evidence, I found it hard to dispute his case that the world's never had it so good. His argument that pessimism is over-cooked is also convincing - in principle. For me, the big flies in the ointment are his PC beliefs that all people are the same, and that you can’t get enough of them. And some of his suppositions already look doubtful. Since the book was written, the UN has admitted that its estimated 9bn population peak was wildly optimistic. It’s also clear that the regions where populations are exploding are the very least equipped to engage in the trade- and innovation-led salvation Ridley proposes. Despite all that, it makes a change to hear a dissenter rattling Al Gore’s cage.

    I disliked the choice of reader, L J Ganser. Ridley, an Eton- and Oxford-educated aristocrat, talks in an appropriately understated manner. To hear him narrated like a New York car-salesman feels all wrong, especially as the text gives many clues to its English provenance. Some homework wouldn’t have hurt: not knowing that Samuel Pepys rhymes with ‘keeps’ is one of many crass blunders; but, for a real laugh, you’ll need to hear the economist Jeavons’s moniker mangled yourself.

    In short: get it. You’ll be either entertained or exercised, and certainly informed. And you’ll never take the doomsayers’ word at face value again.

    More

    Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Matt Ridley
    • Narrated By L J Ganser
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Over 10,000 years ago there were fewer than 10 million people on the planet. Today there are more than six billion, 99 per cent of whom are better fed, better sheltered, better entertained and better protected against disease than their Stone Age ancestors. Yet, bizarrely, however much things improve from the way they were before, people still cling to the belief that the future will be nothing but disastrous.

    FM Veteran says: "Well argued dissent"
  1. Rational Optimist: How Pr...
  2. .

A Peek at Amazon Customer's Bookshelf

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Bucks, England 2 REVIEWS / 6 ratings Member Since 2009 0 Followers / Following 0
 
Amazon Customer's greatest hits:
  • A History of English Food

    "Absolutely Fascinating!"

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    Would you consider the audio edition of A History of English Food to be better than the print version?

    I really enjoyed this book, especially the reading of it. It was fascinating and full of snippets of information I have never heard before. Ms Dickson-Wright hit just the right balance of info and fun without it being boring. I would thoroughly recommend it.


Caroline

Caroline Pembroke Dock, United Kingdom 21/06/2010 Member Since 2007
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  • "So enjoyable!"

    4 of 4 helpful votes

    I'm only part-way through listening, but I'm absolutely hooked. I must disagree with a previous reviewer in that I find Bryson's narration much better than the reader of A Short History of Nearly Everything; I love his reading here. Like that book though, this will be one I anticipate returning to re-listen to several times. Wonderful!

    More

    At Home: A Short History of Private Life

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Bill Bryson
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    Overall
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    Performance
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    (199)

    Bill Bryson was struck one day by the thought that we devote more time to studying the battles and wars of history than to considering what history really consists of: centuries of people quietly going about their daily business. This inspired him to start a journey around his own house, an old rectory in Norfolk, considering how the ordinary things in life came to be.

    Stewart Webb says: "More Fact Pact Bryson"

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UNABRIDGED) by C. S. Lewis Narrated by Geoffrey Howard

    Mere Christianity

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    • By C. S. Lewis
    • Narrated By Geoffrey Howard
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    Kenneth says: "Superb - listened twice."
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UNABRIDGED) by Damien Lewis Narrated by Michael Fenner

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    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Damien Lewis
    • Narrated By Michael Fenner
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    Ross says: "Gripping account of a special forces op"
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UNABRIDGED) by Bill Bryson Narrated by Bill Bryson

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    • By Bill Bryson
    • Narrated By Bill Bryson
    Overall
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    Performance
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    (199)

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    Performance
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    Story
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    • Narrated By Malcolm Gladwell
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    Performance
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    Story
    (38)

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    Jane says: "Enjoyable, but goes in an unexpected direction"
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UNABRIDGED) by Sam Harris Narrated by Sam Harris

    The Moral Landscape

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Sam Harris
    • Narrated By Sam Harris
    Overall
    (106)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (20)

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    Jonathan says: "Thought provoking, perhaps a little antagonistic"
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UNABRIDGED) by Jon Ronson Narrated by Jon Ronson

    Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jon Ronson
    • Narrated By Jon Ronson
    Overall
    (236)
    Performance
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    Story
    (136)

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    darren says: "Absolutely Brilliant !"
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UNABRIDGED) by Jon E. Lewis Narrated by Peter Marinker

    The Mammoth Book of Cover-Ups: The Most Disturbing Conspiracies of All Time

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jon E. Lewis
    • Narrated By Peter Marinker
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

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    Mr. J. J. Brown says: "Nice compilation of stories."
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UNABRIDGED) by J. G. Ballard Narrated by Sean Barrett

    A User's Guide to the Millennium

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By J. G. Ballard
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    A collection of the author's articles and reviews, giving an insight into some of the most important literary, artistic, and scientific movements and events of the last 30 years.

  • A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime (






UNABRIDGED) by Mary Morris Narrated by Lara Hutchinson

    A Very Private Diary: A Nurse in Wartime

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mary Morris
    • Narrated By Lara Hutchinson
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    'The real war started for me today.' So begins the diary of 18-year-old Mary Mulry, a young Irish nurse, newly arrived in London in 1940. Over the next seven years she witnesses many of the pivotal events of the war at first hand. In London during the Blitz she sees a young woman die after a botched abortion, narrowly escapes from the bombing of the Alexandra Hotel, and nurses critically ill children during bombing raids in Woolwich. In Normandy in 1944, arriving on the heels of the D-Day invasion, she nurses Allied soldiers and German prisoners of war.

  • The Trigger (






UNABRIDGED) by Tim Butcher Narrated by Tim Butcher

    The Trigger

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Tim Butcher
    • Narrated By Tim Butcher
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    On a summer morning in Sarajevo a hundred years ago, a teenage assassin fired not just the opening shots of the First World War but the starting gun for modern history. By killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Gavrilo Princip triggered conflict that would claim millions of lives in battle, and turmoil that would change our world. Tim Butcher uncovers the unreported details of Princip's life and draws on his own experience.

  • The Palestine-Israel Conflict (






UNABRIDGED) by Dan Cohn-Sherlock, Dawoud El-Alami Narrated by Richard Aspel

    The Palestine-Israel Conflict

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Dan Cohn-Sherlock, Dawoud El-Alami
    • Narrated By Richard Aspel
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The new audiobook edition of this best-selling book gives a thorough and accessible account of the history behind the Palestine-Israeli conflict, its roots, and the possibilities for the future. The audiobook is divided into two parts - the first by an American rabbi and Professor of Judaism, and the second by a Palestinian lecturer on Islam. The result is a real insight into the situation, with each author giving full vent to the emotions behind the two sides of the debate - Cohn-Sherbok and El-Amini come together at the audiobook's conclusion to debate the issues.

  •  
  • Cut: The true story of an abandoned, abused little girl who was desperate to be part of a family (






UNABRIDGED) by Cathy Glass Narrated by Denica Fairman

    Cut: The true story of an abandoned, abused little girl who was desperate to be part of a family

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Cathy Glass
    • Narrated By Denica Fairman
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    In her new book, the Sunday Times and New York Times best-selling author of Damaged tells the story of the Dawn, a sweet and seemingly well-balanced girl whose outward appearance masks a traumatic childhood of suffering at the hands of the very people who should have cared for her. Dawn was the first girl Cathy Glass ever fostered. Sweet and seemingly well balanced girl, Dawn's outward appearance masked a traumatic childhood so awful, that even she could not remember it.

  • The Up Side of Down (






UNABRIDGED) by Megan McArdle Narrated by Mia Barron

    The Up Side of Down

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Megan McArdle
    • Narrated By Mia Barron
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Why do some failures inspire breakthroughs and others breakdowns? Most new products fail. So do most businesses. And most of us, if we are honest, have experienced a major setback in our personal or professional lives. Exploring her own experiences of failure - losing her job and sending CVs into a void, clinging to a relationship that was clearly not working, Megan McArdle shows how to recognize when you're in a rut and how to bounce back successfully.

  • How to Write Fiction Without the Fuss (






UNABRIDGED) by Lucy McCarraher Narrated by Lorelei King

    How to Write Fiction Without the Fuss

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Lucy McCarraher
    • Narrated By Lorelei King
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Have you always wanted to write a bestselling book? If you have ever wanted to try your hand at writing fiction, started a novel, written a short story, or even completed a manuscript - only to find that it lacks that certain something, then this is the book for you. How To Write Fiction Without The Fuss takes you through all aspects of the craft of fiction writing and gives you a clear understanding of the fundamentals, along with tools and tips to enhance your writing skills.