LISTENER

Paul the Shrink

  • 3
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 26
  • ratings
  • Buddha's Brain

  • The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom
  • By: Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius MD
  • Narrated by: Alan Bomar Jones
  • Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 70
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70

Science is now revealing how the flow of thoughts actually sculpts the brain. By combining breakthroughs in neuroscience with insights from thousands of years of contemplative practice, you, too, can use your mind to shape your brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ancient wisdom meets cutting edge neuroscience

  • By Paul the Shrink on 27-06-14

Ancient wisdom meets cutting edge neuroscience

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

Reviewed: 27-06-14

Any additional comments?

As a consultant psychiatrist with a personal interest in meditation and aspects of spirituality - especially Buddhism, I found this book very helpful on several levels. It makes current research on brain functioning understandable and accessible. It also acted - at a low key level - as a reminder of various aspects of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology. But if that sounds daunting and off putting - don't be. Those aspects of the book are not essential, and can easily be "glossed over".

The core of the book is a very practical and manageable approach to how to start a programme of self development that could make a real difference in the lives of any of us. It provides really simple exercises and ideas that if followed would undoubtedly make life more fulfilling and positive for any of us irrespective of any religious or philosophical beliefs we may have. The hard bit of course - like any exercises - is practicing them consistently over time until the benefits are experienced.

Whilst this book is new to me (obviously), I am very aware of the need to look on the work of self improvement as something to work on consistently over time - ultimately of course over a lifetime. Something as important and worthwhile as feeling better about myself is not something that will happen overnight. The great thing about this book is that it gives a different (not necessarily "correct") angle on the practical and scientific aspects of that great task.

This is undoubtedly a book to read over and over again. I also think it would be worth having in print format to allow the material another "channel" through which to be absorbed.

So, go on - read it - do it! The world will be happier for it if you do.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • The Luminaries

  • By: Eleanor Catton
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 29 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,395
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,271
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,266

It is 1866 and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes. A wealthy man has vanished, a whore has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely patterned as the night sky.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully written, but slower than a snail

  • By Avril Sawers on 02-11-13

Loved it - kept taking detours to listen longer!

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

Reviewed: 28-12-13

Any additional comments?

Ignoring the silly questions audible poses for reviewers, this was a fantastic audio book. I honestly don't think I could have read it as book, but fantastic as a well read audio book. Mark Meadows' narration helped me follow the story in what is a complex story by his excellent characterisation. Also, if I had been reading this I think it would have been too daunting a task, but as I listen in my car too, from and at work, I found myself absorbed by the story.
I am not normally a fan of anything within the murder/mystery/whodunnit genre as I feel so stupid at never working it out whilst everyone else tells me they knew after the first twenty pages or so, but here, the writing and the story are so good that it really didn't matter.
Finally, I loved the fascinating detail of the era Eleanor Catton includes as it so brings the novel to life. I want to go out to New Zealand NOW!

  • A Possible Life

  • By: Sebastian Faulks
  • Narrated by: Rupert Degas, Samuel West, Christian Rodska, and others
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 113
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59

Terrified, a young prisoner in the Second World War closes his eyes and pictures himself going out to bat on a sunlit cricket ground in Hampshire. Across the courtyard in a Victorian workhouse, a father too ashamed to acknowledge his son. A skinny girl steps out of a Chevy with a guitar; her voice sends shivers through the skull. Soldiers and lovers, parents and children, scientists and musicians risk their bodies and hearts in search of connection.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Little Depressing

  • By Pauline on 18-09-12

Rather typically doleful

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

Reviewed: 01-12-13

Any additional comments?

You don't read/listen to Faulks to cheer you up. and yet I find him strangely life affirming - at least in this case. He has a penchant for the melancholic, but still manages to extract something from it that leaves me optimistic and cheered, and this collection of novelettes is no different. It took me some time to have a sense of the themes that link them, and yet by the end it was clear that they belong together even if I find it a little hard to explain why. Something to do with lost loves, lives that could have turned out another - more apparently positive way, and looking back on life and savouring it despite all the difficulties/ disappointments.Anyway, as my first experience of an audiobook (Apart from Harry Potter, and that really doesn't count as my - then young - daughter made me!), this left me thoughtful, hopeful and wanting more to help with my new, extended commute to work; and for me that seems like a pretty good recommendation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful