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Je suis Charlie

  • 36
  • reviews
  • 60
  • helpful votes
  • 47
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  • Swann's Way

  • By: Marcel Proust
  • Narrated by: Neville Jason
  • Length: 21 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 63

Swann’s Way is the first of seven volumes in Remembrance of Things Past. It sets the scene with the narrator’s memories being famously provoked by the taste of that little cake, the madeleine, accompanied by a cup of lime-flowered tea. It is an unmatched portrait of fin-de-siècle France.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Life, A User's Manual

  • By Antti on 11-08-13

My opinion might change

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

Reviewed: 15-09-18

My opinion might change after I have read the whole series, but at the moment I am not sure what all the fuss is about. This book is famous for not being read, and also for being recommended by teachers to their students, who almost invariably do not read it. Which is hardly surprising since all volumes in the series combined produce a mammoth text.

There are interesting things about it. The author uses a stream of consciousness style, which is quite unusual. What is also unusual is the way he seems to insert himself into a story that must at least in part be pure fiction, and you do very much feel that he is writing about himself, since the authors stream of consciousness often carries him to the innermost thoughts of other people, the narrative flowing seamlessly from one characters stream of consciousness to another's. This created a dreamlike effect.

Unfortunately it is a rather boring dream. However, the book does serve as a window. People writing in their own time and place have created time capsules, time machines, that let you visit a different mind. Other than that there does not seem to be much reason to recommend this book to anybody.

  • The Bhagavad Gita

  • By: Eknath Easwaran
  • Narrated by: Paul Bazely
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 183
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 154
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 153

The Bhagavad Gita, "The Song of the Lord", is the best known of all the Indian scriptures, and Easwaran's reliable and accessible version has consistently been the best-selling translation. Easwaran's introduction places the Gita in its historical setting and brings out the universality and timelessness of its teachings. Chapter introductions give clear explanations of key concepts in that chapter.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow

  • By Pevin on 27-09-16

Mixed feelings about this.

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

On one level this is the story of a mean old man that talked an impressionable young one into murdering his own family. The guru worship that causes so much suffering in eastern religion is clearly baked in to this text, it is quite central to it, and it pushes the supposed virtues of this ancient version of celebrity culture hard. Hare Krishna comes across as a sinister Rasputin, a grand vizier, egging the young prince on to war. That being said there is also a good deal of wisdom in here I think, and I like that it offers a path of spiritual practice that does not involve complete renunciation or asceticism, much like the "middle way" of the Buddha, neither completely renouncing materialism, or completely giving in to it. It takes a negative view of abandoning your family and responsibilities in the selfish pursuit personal spiritual fulfilment, which I think is reasonable. It contains the sentence "You have the right to work, but not to the fruits of your work." I think I can see the point it's trying to make. There is a kind of mindfulness that comes from simply focusing on what one is doing rather than counting down the hours and minuets to the end of your shift, wanting only to be somewhere else and taking no joy in your work, simply being in it for the money. The problem with phrasing it as this book does, is that a farmer who literally renounces the fruits of his labour will surely starve, and I can see this phrasing being used to justify slavery, or worse, Communism.

This book also claims that an atheist cannot be a good person. If you are interested in hearing the counter argument to such a claim feel free to google "Hitchens", "Sam Harris" and "Richard Dawkins".

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Drunk with Blood

  • God's Killings in the Bible
  • By: Steve Wells
  • Narrated by: Brendan Littlefield
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

You've probably heard of a few of God's killings. Noah's Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, David and Goliath, maybe. But there are over 150 others that are unknown to pretty much everyone, believer and nonbeliever alike.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fun romp of a story. No, wait...

  • By Iain on 14-02-15

God was pretty bad ass back in the day.

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

Reviewed: 26-04-18

If the "Horrible Histories" series ever did the bible this would be the end result. It's literally that. "Horrible Israelites" perhaps? No? OK then...

  • Godless

  • How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
  • By: Dan Barker, Richard Dawkins - foreword
  • Narrated by: Richard Dawkins, Dan Barker
  • Length: 19 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 60
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59

Part 1 of Godless, "Rejecting God", tells the story of how I moved from devout preacher to atheist and beyond. Part 2, "Why I Am an Atheist", presents my philosophical reasons for unbelief. Part 3, "What's Wrong with Christianity", critiques the bible (its reliability as well as its morality) and the historical evidence for Jesus. Part 4, "Life Is Good!", comes back to my personal story, taking a case to the United States Supreme Court, dealing with personal trauma, and experiencing the excitement of Adventures in Atheism.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Practical book. I enjoyed reading it.

  • By E. Ez on 18-07-17

Too much feminism.

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

Reviewed: 11-04-18

Because any amount of feminism is too much feminism. There are points when I feel like the author has merely exchanged one puritanical faith for another.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Breaking the Spell

  • Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
  • By: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Narrated by: Dennis Holland
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 36

For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why - and how - it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Poor narration cheapens an otherwise great book

  • By Robert on 04-12-16

meh

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

Reviewed: 12-01-18

page 222
"In general, the world would be a better place if people shared more truths and believed fewer falsehoods. That's why we have education and public-information campaigns and newspapers and so forth. There are exceptions—strategic secrets, for instance, cases where I believe something and am grateful that nobody else shares my belief."

page 202
"The physicist Paul Davies (2004) has recently defended the view that belief in free will is so important that it may be "a fiction worth maintaining." It is interesting that he doesn't seem to think that his own discovery of the awful truth (what he takes to be the awful truth) incapacitates him morally, but believes that others, more fragile than he, will need to be protected from it."

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The God Argument

  • The Case Against Religion and for Humanism
  • By: A. C. Grayling
  • Narrated by: William Roberts
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37

What are the arguments for and against religion and religious belief - all of them - right across the range of reasons and motives that people have for being religious, and do they stand up to scrutiny? Can there be a clear, full statement of these arguments that once and for all will show what is at stake in this debate? Equally important: what is the alternative to religion as a view of the world and a foundation for morality?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A house divided

  • By Je suis Charlie on 26-07-17

A house divided

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

Reviewed: 26-07-17

While this book gives a good overview of Humanism and it's arguments for anyone who is interested, it's optimism regarding the ability of Atheism, Humanism and Secularism to unite the world where religion has divided, belies an author blissfully or perhaps wilfully ignorant of Atheism+ and Social Justice, or of the various Communist revolutions for that matter. These unfortunate movements represent a living, breathing argument against his position that I do not feel he sufficiently addressed within the text.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Undeniable

  • Evolution and the Science of Creation
  • By: Bill Nye
  • Narrated by: Bill Nye
  • Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133

Sparked by a provocative comment to BigThink.com last fall, and fueled by a highly controversial debate with Creation Museum curator Ken Ham, Bill Nye's campaign to confront the scientific shortcoming of creationism has exploded in just a few months into a national crusade.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My kind of booked

  • By J Morris on 21-12-15

Read Dawkins instead

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

Reviewed: 15-06-17

Bill Nye is funny and charming as always but if you are interested in this subject I would recommend reading a book by a scientist rather than an engineer and TV personality. Read Dawkins.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)

  • By: Robert Spencer
  • Narrated by: Jeff Riggenbach
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 17

You think you know about Islam. But, did you know that Islam teaches that Muslims must wage war to impose Islamic law on non-Muslim states, or that American Muslim groups are engaged in a huge cover-up of Islamic doctrine? These and other "politically incorrect" facts are revealed by Robert Spencer in The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades).

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An alternative narrative.

  • By Je suis Charlie on 12-05-17

An alternative narrative.

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

Reviewed: 12-05-17

An alternative to the mainstream narrative regarding Islam and the Crusades. It is primarily aimed at Christian Americans, and in some cases I think it goes to far in it's defence of the Bible and Christians, and it's vilification of Islam. It is however worth reading this book as many of it's points are legitimate and well argued, and it is refreshing to hear a point of view that is normally silenced in the bulk of traditional media.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Truth About Muhammad

  • Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion
  • By: Robert Spencer
  • Narrated by: James Adams
  • Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

In The Truth about Muhammad, New York Times best-selling author and Islam expert Robert Spencer offers an honest and telling portrait of the founder of Islam � perhaps the first such portrait in half a century � unbounded by fear and political correctness, unflinching, and willing to face the hard facts about Muhammad's life that continue to affect our world today.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting and thought provoking read

  • By Mr. M. G. Helliwell on 06-05-16

I've read the Koran and this book isn't wrong.

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

Reviewed: 10-05-17

I've read the Koran and this book isn't wrong. A red pill for those who want it.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Mein Kampf: The Ford Translation

  • By: Adolf Hitler, Michael Ford (translator)
  • Narrated by: James Smith
  • Length: 27 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 152
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 133
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 133

For the first time in 65 years, a modern, easy to understand, truly complete and uncensored edition of Mein Kampf has been released which reveals more than any past translation. This is also the first translation available in an English language audio format. Older translations altered passages, omitted passages, mistranslated Hitler's words, and made some parts more sensational while concealing the true meaning in other parts of the book.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • How to motivate the modern manager

  • By Joe White on 13-03-18

Hitler Did Something Wrong.

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

Reviewed: 03-05-17

At the start of this translation we are told, more or less, that it isn't all about racism and killing Jews. Honestly I have to disagree. Long sceptical of the official or commonly received narrative I was actually surprised to find that most of it is, in fact, when you get right down to it, all about racism and killing Jews. In each chapter the Fuhrer grumbles about something he considers wrong with the world, and finishes each chapter by reminding us that is is, of course, all the fault of the Jews. Antisemitism is a common theme throughout the book which Hitler returns to with great frequency. In one chapter, he complains about communism, and blames it on the Jews, in another, the economy, and blames it on the Jews. The first chapter is perhaps the most surprising. He details his own theory of propaganda, then tells the reader that if they find such methods distasteful, they should bear in mind that of course Jews invented it, and he is really just using their own weapons against them. He also talks in this chapter about the need to make it look as if all your enemies are just one enemy, so as not to make your followers feel overwhelmed, or as if they might be in the wrong if so many other groups disagree with them. This is almost a tacit admission, right at the start of the book, that he is just using Jews for this very purpose, as a scape goat. It also seems odd to open a propagandising book with a chapter that tells you all the techniques that are about to be used on you. I'm inclined to agree with historian William L. Shirer that if every German who diligently bought Mein Kampf, and made Hitler a millionaire in the process, had actually read it, he would not have come to power. I give this this book a high review because the translation was easy to understand, and explained obscure references to Wagnerian operas and other things the reader may be unfamiliar with. The book itself is not so impressive. It seems Hitlers skill as an author did not live up to his skill as an orator. Churchill said of Mein Kampf "It is the new Quran of war and politics. Verbose, turgid, yet pregnant with it's message." Having read both books I think this is unfair to Mein Kampf, it was not so much of a chore to get through, but not I think what convinced Germans to support him. You should not feel concerned about being brainwashed by this rather pedestrian book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful