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Ash

Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
  • 25
  • reviews
  • 40
  • helpful votes
  • 119
  • ratings
  • Why Planes Crash

  • An Accident Investigator's Fight for Safe Skies
  • By: David Soucie, Ozzie Cheek
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6

Boarding an airplane strikes at least a small sense of fear into most people. Even though we all have heard that the odds of being struck by lightning are greater than the odds of perishing in a plane crash, it still doesn't feel that way. Airplane crashes might be rare, but they do happen, and they’re usually fatal. David Soucie insists that most of these deaths could be prevented. He’s worked as a pilot, a mechanic, an FAA inspector, and an aviation executive. He’s seen death up close and personal - deaths of colleagues and friends that might have been prevented if he had approved certain safety measures in the aircrafts they were handling.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An insight into the aviation world...

  • By Ash on 25-05-18

An insight into the aviation world...

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

Reviewed: 25-05-18

I really enjoyed this honest account of a career focused on aircraft safety, there's some fascinating side stories too!

  • The Soul of a New Machine

  • By: Tracy Kidder
  • Narrated by: Ben Sullivan
  • Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

Computers have changed since 1981, when Tracy Kidder memorably recorded the drama, comedy, and excitement of one company's efforts to bring a new microcomputer to market. What has not changed is the feverish pace of the high-tech industry, the go-for-broke approach to business that has caused so many computer companies to win big (or go belly up), and the cult of pursuing mind-bending technological innovations.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting glimpse into a wonderful era...

  • By Ash on 01-09-17

An interesting glimpse into a wonderful era...

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

Reviewed: 01-09-17

Whilst I found the book a bit rambling at first, it does get going and builds into an interesting story. That said, it's definitely for the technically oriented reader, I loved the detail it went into with the debugging but my wife overheard some and could barely believe anyone would listen to this voluntarily!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Adults in the Room

  • My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment
  • By: Yanis Varoufakis
  • Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
  • Length: 20 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 434
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 395
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 397

In Adults in the Room, Yanis Varoufakis exposes the shocking reality of how power is wielded behind the scenes at the EU - and argues that only radical reform can save it from collapse. Yanis Varoufakis became globally famous when was elected finance minister of Greece with a specific mandate to say no to the EU: to reject the forced loans and crushing austerity forced upon his country by the Eurozone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most interesting political memoir I have read

  • By Nik Jewell on 02-06-17

An Interesting peek behind the scenes in Europe...

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

Reviewed: 20-08-17

I really enjoyed this book, it's a terrifying view into the corridors of the global financial institutions that exert their power on nations making them all but powerless. I'd never lose sight of the fact that there are many sides to any story but I do buy into Varoufakis' account, I believe his goals were right and respect the way he stood his ground. I am so very glad that Britain never entered the Euro though.

On another note, Leighton Pugh as narrator is great, one of my favourites from audible, I've now downloaded more books read by him.

  • No Place to Hide

  • Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
  • By: Glenn Greenwald
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • good book but might be better as a read

  • By Timo van Weenen on 24-07-15

Bought on mild interest but was gripped throughout

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

Reviewed: 05-04-17

The subject matter is right up my street but I didn't expect to enjoy the book so much, I was surprised and loved it.

Perhaps it's a touch over long in places but all round Greenwald tells a great story of a remarkable time in his life and uses that story to illustrate the dangers of government overreach.

  • The Business Blockchain

  • Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology
  • By: William Mougayar, Vitalik Buterin
  • Narrated by: Christopher Grove
  • Length: 5 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 167
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 148
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 145

Blockchains are new technology layers that rewire the Internet and threaten to side-step older legacy constructs and centrally served businesses. At its core, a blockchain injects trust into the network, cutting off some intermediaries from serving that function and creatively disrupting how they operate. Metaphorically, blockchains are the ultimate non-stop computers. Once launched, they never go down, and offer an incredible amount of resiliency, making them dependable and attractive for running a new generation of decentralized services and software.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good summary, not too much more...

  • By Ash on 25-01-17

Good summary, not too much more...

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

Reviewed: 25-01-17

It's a good book, and is well read, but doesn't contain a huge amount of information you couldn't get by spending an hour googling and reading blog posts / articles.

I'm fairly sold on the blockchain concept and high level applications, I was really looking for more depth. Rather than fifty fleetingly described ideas I'd have rather heard fifteen but with deeper detail.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • A Life in Questions

  • By: Jeremy Paxman
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Paxman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 374
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 376

The witty, incisive and frank memoir of the best-selling author of The Victorians, Jeremy Paxman, whose career at the BBC included 25 years as the uncompromising presenter of Newsnight. Covering insights on politicians of every stamp over the last half century, reporting from war zones, the state of the BBC, the role of journalism in our political system and much more, Jeremy Paxman's long-awaited and candid memoir is packed with opinions and good humour on every page.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Paxman on Paxman, what's not to love?

  • By Savvyman on 01-11-16

Honest, engaging and worthwhile.

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

Reviewed: 19-01-17

As a regular viewer of University Challenge and occasional Newsnight viewer I like Paxman, and chose to read this book on the expectation that he'd have led an interesting life.

There are indeed some great stories in the book but what I most enjoyed is the sense of an ordinary man going down his own peculiar path in life but without bending too much to the will of others.

Having read the book I'd firmly place Paxman on my list of people I'd happily go for a pint with, and I'd even go so far as to say the first round could be on me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Epic Win for Anonymous

  • How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web
  • By: Cole Stryker
  • Narrated by: Christopher Kipiniak
  • Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

4chan is the "Anti-Facebook", a site that radically encourages anonymity. It spawned the hacktivist group Anonymous, which famously defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by bringing down MasterCard's and Visa's Web sites. Created by a 15-year-old wunderkind in 2003, it is the creative force behind "the Web's most infectious memes and catchphrases" (Wired). Today it has over 12 million monthly users, with enormous social influence to match.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Maybe good if you know nothing about 4chan already

  • By Ash on 10-01-17

Maybe good if you know nothing about 4chan already

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

Reviewed: 10-01-17

I'm a long time internet user so this book didn't really give me much in the way of new information. The author has clearly done his research but from a starting point of knowing nothing, I'd have been more interested in someone starting from the inside and delving a lot further into the background.

The reader's voice is good but neither he or his producers were overly familiar with the subject matter so a lot comes off either mispronounced or with that condescending "generic local news anchor" tone of voice which infuriates and disappoints those of us who know what we're talking about.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • In the Garden of Beasts

  • Love and terror in Hitler's Berlin
  • By: Erik Larson
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hoye
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

Berlin, 1933. William E. Dodd, a mild-mannered academic from Chicago, has, to his own and everyone else's surprise, become America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany in a year that proves to be a turning point in history. Dodd and his family, most notably his vivacious daughter, Martha, observe at first-hand the many changes - some subtle, some disturbing, and some horrifically violent - that signal Hitler's consolidation of power. Dodd has little choice but to associate with key figures in the Nazi party.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating, insightful and deeply sad in places.

  • By Ash on 05-01-17

Fascinating, insightful and deeply sad in places.

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

Reviewed: 05-01-17

I loved this book, it's a quiet one for sure but I loved it. The subjects are fairly ordinary people in an extraordinary time, Dodd is an understated, unassuming and in many ways unremarkable character thrust into a terrible time in history struggling to make an impact on what seems even at the time to be inevitable.

Before reading this book is never really had an appreciation of the complexities and absolute fear faced by members of Hitler's government such as Papen, Diels and Hanfstaengel. Larson does a good job of portraying the quiet horror that sits across the entire government and the seemingly bizarre lack of recognition of what's happening from those outside of Germany.

  • The Popes

  • A History
  • By: John Julius Norwich
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 21 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 257
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 166
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 161

Well known for his histories of Norman Sicily, Venice, the Byzantine Empire and the Mediterranean, John Julius Norwich has now turned his attention to the oldest continuing institution in the world, tracing the papal line down the centuries from St Peter himself – traditionally (though by no means historically) the first pope – to the present Benedict XVI.Of the 280-odd holders of the supreme office, some have unques­tionably been saints; others have wallowed in unspeakable iniquity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Stroll through 2,000 Years of European History

  • By R on 15-09-11

Fascinating throughout.

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

Reviewed: 30-11-16

As someone with little background in such matters I found this book to be truly revealing of both the papacy and European history in general. The past two millennia have been both turbulent and often bizarre, this book shows us an interesting slice of that history. I would recommend to anyone whether religious or not.

  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

  • By: Jack Weatherford
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
  • Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,054
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 930
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 927

The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing! Wonderful! Couldn't get enough!

  • By Simone Teufel on 30-06-10

Changed my entire view of the Mongols

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

Reviewed: 11-10-16

A great read that genuinely changed my perception of history and Mongolia's place in the world, a real eye opener?

2 of 4 people found this review helpful