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  • Ancient Mesopotamia

  • Life in the Cradle of Civilization
  • By: The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Professor Amanda H. Podany PhD
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

Mesopotamia is the ancient name for the region that is now Iraq, a remarkably advanced civilization that flourished for two-thirds of the time that civilization has existed on Earth. Mesopotamians mastered irrigation agriculture; built the first complex urban societies; developed writing, literature, and law; and united vast regions through warfare and diplomacy. While civilizations like Greece and Rome have an unbroken tradition of written histories, the rich history of Mesopotamia has only been recently rediscovered, thanks to the decipherment of Mesopotamia's cuneiform writing less than 200 years ago.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent - I've learnt so much

  • By Happy Shopper on 04-08-18

Sparkling overview of a fascinating era

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

Reviewed: 06-01-19

This is a great course. Prof Podany is a brilliant lecturer who really brings to life a period that is very poorly taught (if at all) in general education despite being the literal cradle of civilisation. A civilised world before the Egyptians, before the Greeks and Romans, it is replete with brilliant characters, jaw-dropping cultural development and astonishing clarity of documentation. I found myself googling throughout to follow-up. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How to Change Your Mind

  • By: Michael Pollan
  • Narrated by: Michael Pollan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 502
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 446
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 444

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of How to Change Your Mind, written and read by Michael Pollan. When LSD was first discovered in the 1940s, it seemed to researchers, scientists and doctors as if the world might be on the cusp of psychological revolution. It promised to shed light on the deep mysteries of consciousness as well as offer relief to addicts and the mentally ill. But in the 1960s, with the vicious backlash against the counterculture, all further research was banned. In recent years, however, work has quietly begun again on the amazing potential of LSD, psilocybin and DMT. Could these drugs in fact improve the lives of many people?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • life changing

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-07-18

Comprehensive and engaging

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

Reviewed: 15-12-18

Impressive look at the current status of psychedelics in western research and practice. The personal odyssey at the heart of the book brought vividly to life what might otherwise have been pretty dry and dense. A great listen.

  • Solitude

  • In Pursuit of a Singular Life in a Crowded World
  • By: Michael Harris
  • Narrated by: Kerry Shale
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Solitude is a rapidly vanishing experience. Our society now embraces sharing like never before: time alone is being forced out of our lives by the constant pings of smartphones and prods of social media. But what if being alone still has something to offer us - something we have forgotten but that we still desperately need? In Solitude, award-winning author Michael Harris examines why being alone matters now more than ever before.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Great text, poor performance

  • By Amazon Customer on 20-08-18

Great text, poor performance

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

Reviewed: 20-08-18

I really wanted to like this book but I couldn't get passed the first fifteen minutes due to the narrator's voice. I know a lot of people like a gravelly tone but this was so crunchy as to be painful for me to listen to. I don't know if it's an affection or just his natural voice but the persistent vocal fry had my toes curling. Next time maybe reach for a cough drop before setting up the mic?

I will buy the physical book instead.

  • Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction 

  • By: Joseph Dan
  • Narrated by: Gregory Nassif St. John
  • Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

In Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction, Joseph Dan, one of the world's leading authorities on Jewish mysticism, offers a concise and highly accurate look at the history and character of the various systems developed by the adherents of the Kabbalah. Dan sheds light on the many misconceptions about what Kabbalah is and isn't - including its connections to magic, astronomy, alchemy, and numerology - and he illuminates the relationship between Kabbalah and Christianity on the one hand and New Age religion on the other.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This may not suit you...

  • By C. A. Mew on 26-10-18

Excellent overview

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

Reviewed: 24-05-18

Loved this. The structure was really helpful - providing a breakdown of how the term 'Kabbalah' refers to a very diffuse set of teachings and beliefs, then contextualising those themes within the broader development of western religious thought fromthe middle ages to the present day. The text was really brought to life by the narration. Gregory Nassif St. John's reading brought clarity to the deliberately arcane terminology of Kabbalism, and his sensitive articulation of the technical text made this a pleasure to listen to.