Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle, where the idea is as potent as the historical fact. From the Qu'ran to Shakespeare, this city with three names - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul - resonates as an idea and a place and overspills its boundaries - real and imagined. Standing as the gateway between the East and West, it has served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires.
Really excellent story. I knew nothing about Istanbul so picked this book and now will want to read more about turkey and Greece and this part of the world. The only downside was not clear and slower pronunciations of dates. I often had to listen twice to make sure I got the date right. Some were pronounced so quickly that a few times I had to return to that passage to make sure I heard it correctly. I think it is a downside of this recording!
Most of us have a limited understanding of the powerful role economics has played in shaping human civilization. This makes economic history - the study of how civilizations structured their environments to provide food, shelter, and material goods - a vital lens through which to think about how we arrived at our present, globalized moment. Designed to fill a long-empty gap in how we think about modern history, these 48 lectures are a comprehensive journey through more than 600 years of economic history.
Western European-centred, insights into other continents but complete lack of insights (& understanding) of Eastern Europe. For example lack of mentioning that Eastern European nations didn't have or used slaves. Authors is happy to say that Eastern Europe was slower with introducing changes in social structure or in industrialisation but completely forgot to mention that wealth of Western Europe was built on slavery. Another mistake about understanding Eastern Europe is explaining plague. Authors explain that it didn't spread into Bohemia due to geomorphology but doesn't mention that there was no Plague in Poland that is mostly flat and has many rivers so authors explanation that plague didn't reach Eastern Europe due to hilly terrain doesn't quite meet facts. Also Another fact that first democratic election took part in Poland in June 1989 and East Germans started to flee into Poland and only then East German couldn't stop the democracy wave and allowed in October for wall to fall. Polish Solidarity movement started the change in Eastern Europe, not fall of Berlin Wall. Again author completely miss the point.
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the best-selling Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, envisions a not-too-distant world in which we face a new set of challenges. Now, in Homo Deus, he examines our future with his trademark blend of science, history, philosophy and every discipline in between. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life.
This is an interesting book. Addressing impossible, showing possible directions that in 50 years time may turn out that none of them is true. Make me smile how we humans constantly aim to undercover all mysteries, including here mystery of future. Eye opening but not as good as his Sapiens. Loved it tho
Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant? What makes us deadly? What makes us sapiens? In this bold and provocative audiobook, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here, and where we're going.
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I found this book very engaging. it could have been a lot longer. I wish the author explain why we switched from one epoque to another and what trigged these changes but other than this really lovely.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Which character – as performed by Derek Perkins – was your favourite?
all. but especially lovely (funny was) part about gods and religions. chapter 6 was v good too.
Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.
Being a Pole and the person who helped Donna Tartt's publisher to clear right for "Ach śpij kochanie" I decided finally to read the book to find out where and why she wanted to put text of this lovely lullaby in her book. It is indeed a lullaby that every Polish child hear in childhood and can imagine Boris heard it and memorised it too ...but apart from that his name, his upbringing and most of all his parents marriage is very unconvincing for me. Polish women hardly ever marry Russians (or Russian from Ukraine). I never heard of any such relationship. Poland suffered quite a lot in 20 century from Russian and marriage between two nations doesn't happen often. And if they did, these were mostly between daughters of people who cooperated with USSR's regime and work (in diplomacy etc) in Russia. Something very very random. But even if, Polish mothers usually bring up children gently with a lot of care and love. Boris seems very Russified for a son of a Pole. Didn't quite pick when his mother died but it must have been very early ...hence how he could remember this lullaby.
Sorry to be so picky...
Frances Mayes - widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer - opens the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In sensuous and evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy.
A bit dull testimony of Americans' move to Tuscany... Frankly a huge disappointment. I thought there would be some more to the story then record of what it took them to move to Tuscany.
France, 1916. Sophie Lefevre is ordered to serve the German officers who socialise in her hotel. When the new Kommandant sets eyes on Sophie's portrait - painted by her husband Edouard - a dangerous obsession is born. Almost a century later, Sophie's portrait hangs in the home of Liv Halston. A chance encounter reveals the painting's true worth - and its troubled history that is about to resurface and turn Liv's life upside down…
I did enjoy the book. Didn't read any reviews so didn't know what to quite expect. It was very interesting how the painting connected lives of so many lives across a few generations. Very moving and positive story.
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.
It is very subjective history - Sometime going into too many details and sometimes skipping important information - anyway I enjoy the story and it was very well read too.