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White Fragility cover art
  • White Fragility

  • Why It's so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
  • By: Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson - foreword
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to "bad people" (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent meaningful cross-racial dialogue.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • life changing book!

  • By Elaine E on 05-09-18

Every white person must read this

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

Reviewed: 07-01-19


Every white person must read this book.

Before beginning, I considered myself pretty ‘woke’ and presumed that this book would not be able to teach me much more - I was wrong.

White racism towards non-white people seeps into every part of Western society - only after reading this book did I realise all the small ways I am socialised to be racist and that it takes continuous conscious work to overcome these. And that is the best lesson to take away from this book - that the term ‘racist’ is now so offensive that whites cannot bear to be associated with it, it’s akin to being called a rapist. But the best thing that we could do as a white society is accept that we are all racist, that it is an inevitable product of our society, and that after admitting this, we can now take action to combat it and keep learning throughout our lives.

The book was gripping and illuminating from start to finish.

  • The Examined Life

  • By: Stephen Grosz
  • Narrated by: Peter Marinker
  • Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,478
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,232
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,220

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

Absorbing but not life-changing

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

Reviewed: 07-01-19

Stephen is a psychoanalyst who walks through many of the clients he has had over the past decades illustrating various psychoanalytic lessons and absorbing human stories.

I liked this book a lot. It was very understated and to me conveyed well the slow and rather meticulous process of psychoanalysis. It was quite moving - but it didn’t make me rethink my whole life or anything.

  • The Guilty Feminist

  • From Our Noble Goals to Our Worst Hypocrisies
  • By: Deborah Frances-White
  • Narrated by: Deborah Frances-White, Adjoa Andoh
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 216
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 194

A funny, joyful, frank and inspiring audiobook about embracing both feminism and our imperfections, from the creator of the hit comedy podcast, Deborah Frances-White. From inclusion to the secret power of rom coms, from effective activism to what poker can tell us about gender, Deborah Frances-White explores what it means to be a 21st-century feminist and encourages us to make the world better for all women.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliantly insightful

  • By charlotte on 25-10-18

Wonderful but better for the uninitiated

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

Reviewed: 13-10-18

Deborah Frances-White is an awesome comic. I believe that it is not easy to make hilarious comedy based on a right-on agenda, but she blazes the trail for how to do this on her weekly Guilty Feminist podcast. Other comics, especially white male comics, take note - you can be funny AND politically correct!

This book is in large part a summary of many of the themes explored on the podcast, with various stories retold in the book. This means that, for those who are regular listeners and believers, this book comes across as a little introductory. Although there are new stories, and although I enjoyed hearing Deborah's spin on modern feminism, for the most part I did not feel as though my current views were challenged or developed - with some exceptions. For example, there is a chapter on women's relationship with food and their bodies that would be for many men, even liberal men, quite shocking (I note I am a man on my mother's account).

However, what is awesome about the book is that it is a modern guidebook for all feminists (male as well as female!). It is part call-to-arms, part valuable self-help - or really, how to heal from the effects of the patriarchy - and something that Deborah should truly be lauded for is her tireless championing of the cause of other minority groups - ethnic minorities, LGBT+ and those who are less able-bodied - especially as she is a beacon to young white women in particular. She leads their way. And the whole thing is of course written in Deborah's articulate and witty style.

Don't just buy for the women in your life - buy it for the men in your life!

  • The Unconsoled

  • By: Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 19 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 43
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 44

By the Nobel Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go. Ryder, a renowned pianist, arrives in a Central European city he cannot identify for a concert he cannot remember agreeing to give. But then as he traverses a landscape by turns eerie and comical - and always strangely malleable, as a dream might be - he comes steadily to realise he is facing the most crucial performance of his life.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Narcissism, ADD, Kafka, and regret intertwined

  • By Anthony on 24-03-18

I got halfway through

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

Reviewed: 13-10-18

When it comes to books written by unquestionably good authors, especially those whose books you have enjoyed previously (Never Let Me Go), you imagine that you are in safe hands - that you can randomly select any other work from their oeuvre and relax because you are about to lose yourself in a great story.

Not so with The Unconsoled. This is writing totally unconcerned with pleasure, with engrossing the reader in the story - it feels experimental. I never questioned whether Ishiguro is in control of his material - it's just that it's material that it is not enjoyable! It is very dull, repetitive and frustrating - intentionally so. And it is so long! For a book that appears to be making a point more through its style than the story, did it really have to be 20 hours long?

Well-performed, but I just couldn't get further than halfway through.

  • Mythos

  • By: Stephen Fry
  • Narrated by: Stephen Fry
  • Length: 15 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,347
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,550
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,509

The Greek myths are amongst the greatest stories ever told, passed down through millennia and inspiring writers and artists as varied as Shakespeare, Michelangelo, James Joyce and Walt Disney. They are embedded deeply in the traditions, tales and cultural DNA of the West. You'll fall in love with Zeus, marvel at the birth of Athena, wince at Cronus and Gaia's revenge on Ouranos, weep with King Midas and hunt with the beautiful and ferocious Artemis.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen Fry does it again

  • By L. Turner on 14-11-17

Vivid, exciting retelling - if only it were longer

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

For years, I had had in mind that I wished to learn about Greek mythology. There are references everywhere in our Western society to Zeus, to Athena, to Hera and so on. I knew in the vaguest of senses who these figures were, but I definitely needed a proper introduction to shore up my knowledge.

So when Fry brought out this retelling, I bought it straight away. I don't need a huge textbook on Greek mythology - I don't wish to become an expect, I only wanted to have an entertaining, but informative, introduction to the principal myths - and that is exactly what this book delivers. The stories are recounted in Fry's usual eloquent and entertaining style, with modern phrases ('sexy', and so on) mixed in to keep the content 'alive' to us modern readers.

In terms of his performance, Fry keeps us entertained by reading the content dramatically and always with a large injection of 'fun' - it's clear how much he enjoys the myths himself.

The only downside, mentioned by Fry himself at the end, is that the book is not longer, which is the sole reason that in this review I gave the 'Story' 4 stars instead of 5! We are missing the tales about Achilles, Troy and Hercules, and others, so I feel that my Greek education is a little incomplete (why did he include stories about figures that seem less important, that many of us will never have heard of, if, due to book length restrictions or whatever it was, he didn't get to some big stories? Is he planning on a sequel?). Otherwise, this is the perfect book for you if you are interested in mythology, following in the footsteps of these sorts of tales at the moment, like Philip Pullman's 'Grimm Tales' and Neil Gaimon's 'Norse Mythology'.

  • Little Fires Everywhere

  • By: Celeste Ng
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,344
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,201
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,199

The brilliant new novel from the author of the New York Times best seller Everything I Never Told You. Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads to the colours of the houses to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An evocative and complex portrait of suburbia

  • By Suswati on 11-11-17

Desperate Housewives as a book.

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

Reviewed: 03-07-18

If you are looking for a book which tries ever so hard to be as 'charming' as possible, this will be great for you. I'm not really looking for charming from books - I wanted something more substantial and less whimsical, and frankly, less annoying. To me, it read as if I were watching the TV show Desperate Housewives - everything was couched in a fairytale-like, childish tone, where people's complex emotions are reduced to simple cause-and-effect. Everyone's emotions are explained at all times and one thing leads predictably to someone acting in a certain way. I admit I gave up halfway through - the story was not very interesting to me.

  • Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

  • By: Gail Honeyman
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,542
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 10,657
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10,631

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Puts Bridget Jones in the shade

  • By Caroline Mitchell on 10-07-17

Charming but light

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

Reviewed: 21-03-18

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The story ended up being quite light - you could tell from very early on where it was heading.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The most interesting aspect were the insights about loneliness more towards the beginning. The least interest aspect was where the story was heading. Save a minor twist or two, the content was pretty light and easy-listening.

What about Cathleen McCarron’s performance did you like?

Her accents were great, she had a great pace and storytelling manner. Great performance.

Do you think Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No - it is a completed story.

Any additional comments?

Charmingly written, but forgettable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful