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Eoin

  • 6
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 6
  • ratings
  • The Examined Life

  • By: Stephen Grosz
  • Narrated by: Peter Marinker
  • Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,616
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,357
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,343

We are all storytellers - through stories, we make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen. In his work as a psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last 25 years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour. The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon. This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening, and understanding.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Saffy on 13-02-13

Beautiful little book

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

Reviewed: 17-09-16

I really loved this. As you probably know from the blurb, it written by a psychoanalyst about a number of patients who `stood out' for him over the years, for one reason or another. This could come across as a little insincere or gossipy, but this is not the case at all. It's a very genuine exploration of the challenges that occur in lives -- how we can develop behaviour patters / thought processes to help us cope with challenging aspects of the world.

Perhaps my only issue was that it is very short. It sort of whizzed by. I think it is completely worth it though, if that could put you off, as it is engages in a way that I have found from few audiobooks.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Science of Energy

  • Resources and Power Explained
  • By: Michael E. Wysession, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Michael E. Wysession
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 151
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 134
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 136

To better put into perspective the various issues surrounding energy in the 21st century, you need to understand the essential science behind how energy works. And you need a reliable source whose focus is on giving you the facts you need to form your own educated opinions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Comprehensive picture of energy resources

  • By Eoin on 17-09-16

Comprehensive picture of energy resources

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

Reviewed: 17-09-16

I bought this book with a hope of understanding more about the processes involved in recovering energy, and the strengths of the various resources and forms. It is such a hotly contested topic, which rarely comes with clean cut information, that it's easy to get a biased opinion on the area.

This certainly isn't the case here. The professor is very balanced, and from the start of the audiobook, he asks you to take the same approach, leaving aside any preconceptions. After introducing some basic physics (don't be put off here, it's very light), he then introduces the various energy forms one by one. For each form, he then describes the physical process involved in obtaining the energy and various aspects of this process (the efficiency, availability of production materials, safety, etc). It is easy to see how complex the picture is after just a couple of lectures, and to see that the strengths and weaknesses vary greatly. In particular, while it's clear that a move away from fossil fuels is desirable in the long run, the change is going to be slow, and he gives several reasons to suspect this.

By far, my favourite section was the 3 lectures on nuclear energy. The descriptions of the processes involved / challenges faced are really exciting, and I have no doubt I'll listen to this part of the book again. I also enjoyed various `thought experiments' he runs at several parts of the book, like `How much of the US land would be required obtain the entire countries energy needs from solar power?'.

I definitely think that the book has given me a bigger appreciation and understanding for the topic, and would recommend it to anyone who would like to know more. I should say, I found that some parts of the series require some effort, as the material is quite dry (unavoidably, I think) in some parts. I'm not saying that the whole book was a slog or anything, I'm definitely happy I read it, but it requires quite a lot of attention, as for the most part it is quite heavy on information.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity

  • By: David Christian, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: David Christian
  • Length: 24 hrs and 26 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 142
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 127

How is it possible for the disciplines of cosmology, geology, anthropology, biology, and history to fit together? These 48 lectures answer that question by weaving a single story from accounts of the past developed by a variety of scholarly disciplines. The result is a story stretching from the origins of the universe to the present day and beyond, in which human history is seen as part of the history of our Earth and biosphere, and the Earth's history, in turn, is seen as part of the history of the universe.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • big history. big bang. big lecture

  • By Kindle Customer on 15-05-17

I can't recommend this book highly enough

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

Reviewed: 07-08-16

This is a wonderful book. If you've read the blurb above you know that the purpose of the book is to present a `unified' perspective to history, science, life and humanity. Obviously that is an incredibly ambitious and daunting task. Not only does Professor Christian succeed in this aim, he far surpasses what I would have considered possible. The scope of the book is simply phenomenal.

I am not going to go into a breakdown of topics, as you will see this from other reviews, or from The Great Courses website, which gives a thorough description of the chapters. What I will say is that this was one of the best experiences I have had with audiobooks, and really emphasized the strength of the medium to me. Initially I was worried that, with it's length, it might be a bit of a slog. In fact I was completely consumed by it, and ended up finishing it in about a week. I genuinely think that this should be a mandatory piece of the curriculum in most childrens education....actually from some snooping around, it seems that Bill Gates has been trying to essentially do this in the US.

I recommend this book in the highest possible terms!

  • Brighton Rock

  • By: Graham Greene
  • Narrated by: Samuel West
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 726
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 601
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 599

An unabridged audio edition of Graham Greene's classic gang-war thriller. A gang war is raging through the dark underworld of Brighton. Pinkie, malign and ruthless, has killed a man. Believing he can escape retribution, he is unprepared for the courageous, life-embracing Ida Arnold, who is determined to avenge a death.... Read by Samuel West.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent.

  • By Abi on 09-04-11

Truly excellent

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

Reviewed: 28-06-16

I bought this book as it was recommended as one of the top 20 audiobooks of all time by The Telegraph. I can certainly see why it made the list. The story itself is great, and alone would make the book a worthy read. But it was the writing that really blew me away here. It was so evocative and captivating. I feel compelled to physically read the book as well now.

Lastly, Samuel West's narration was just fantastic. I will certainly look out for him in the future.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life

  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,138
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,322
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,320

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • More Fact Pact Bryson

  • By Stewart Webb on 06-06-10

Very enjoyable overview of private lives.

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

Reviewed: 11-06-16

The book gives a really interesting account of the history of our homes and how they got to their current form. The author proceeds room by room (each room taking a chapter) and I think it's fair to say that there is something in the book for everyone. My personal favourites were the kitchen, the dining room, the dressing room and the nursery.

I really enjoyed the discussions on a number of objects which are usually taken completely for granted. For example: the development of furniture, history of food preparation, reason houses are organized as they are. For me, it also made 19th century life much more interesting than I had previously thought it to be.

One of the issues I did have with the book was that quite a lot of it is anecdotal. These are for the most part very entertaining, but for me, there were simply too many witty stories. The main reason I wanted to read the book was for the information, and some chapters got completely waylaid with irrelevant topics to the room in `focus'. I'm sure many other people may not have any issues with this, but sometimes I found myself impatient with the book as a result.

Overall though, I am happy to recommend it. It is amazingly thorough, and contains a lot of interesting information. Lastly, the author does a great job of narrating it.

  • Five Presidents

  • My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford
  • By: Clint Hill, Lisa McCubbin
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38

Secret Service agent Clint Hill brings history intimately and vividly to life as he reflects on his 17 years protecting the most powerful office in the nation. Hill walked alongside Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald R. Ford, seeing them through a long, tumultuous era - the Cold War; the Cuban Missile Crisis; the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy; the Vietnam War; Watergate; and the resignations of Spiro Agnew and Richard M. Nixon.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Informative biography - bit on the dry side

  • By Suzy on 13-10-17

Fascinating glimpse behind the scenes

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

Reviewed: 20-05-16

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book. It offers a unique perspective on the men behind the presidency, along with the development of the secret service.

While, the book started a little slow, with the section on the tours of the Eisenhower administration feeling drawn out, from Kennedy on, the later sections were engrossing. You cant help but marvel at the huge number of historic moments Hill observed through his career.

Lastly, the narration was excellent. I am very happy to recommend the book.