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Natalia

United Kingdom
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 56
  • helpful votes
  • 61
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  • 36 Views of Mount Fuji

  • On Finding Myself in Japan
  • By: Cathy Davidson
  • Narrated by: Alexandra Bailey
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

In 1980 Cathy N. Davidson traveled to Japan to teach English at a leading all-women’s university. It was the first of many journeys and the beginning of a deep and abiding fascination. In this extraordinary book, Davidson depicts a series of intimate moments and small epiphanies that together make up a panoramic view of Japan.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Dated but still an interesting memoir.

  • By Natalia on 16-02-17

Dated but still an interesting memoir.

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

Reviewed: 16-02-17

Would you try another book written by Cathy Davidson or narrated by Alexandra Bailey?

It depends. Not something with Japanese words as the narrator's ridiculous over-emphasis (and sometimes wrong) pronunciation of Japanese words was off putting.

What other book might you compare 36 Views of Mount Fuji to, and why?

Just about every 'Westerner goes and lives in Japan and is surprised what they learn there' book of the past 30 years.

Did Alexandra Bailey do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Yes. Though her comical accents were a bit much.

Could you see 36 Views of Mount Fuji being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

I hope not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Silk Roads

  • A New History of the World
  • By: Peter Frankopan
  • Narrated by: Laurence Kennedy
  • Length: 24 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,528
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,294
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,277

The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westward on its axis, it now turns to the east.... For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the West - in the New World of the Americas. Today it is the East that calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from Eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia, deep into China and India, is taking center stage.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History that is as entertaining as it is educating

  • By Natalia on 03-12-15

History that is as entertaining as it is educating

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

Reviewed: 03-12-15

What made the experience of listening to The Silk Roads the most enjoyable?

For me this is highly personal, as most of the listening I did while in Istanbul, so I was situated in one of the prime locations mentioned in the earlier sections of the book. But on a less 'contextual' level, I found listening to extremely well written history that assumed the reader/listener was intelligent but not an expert a true pleasure.

What did you like best about this story?

That Frankopan, as usual, manages to tie everything together in a cohesive manner.

Did Laurence Kennedy do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

No. The attempt at different voices and accents was cringeworthy. I realise that he was trying to differentiate when he was reading a direct quote but sometimes he bordered on offensive or racist, or downright silly.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No but I did very much enjoy it.

Any additional comments?

While I know this kind of book is not for everyone, I very much hope a lot of people listen to or read it.

50 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • A Brief History of the Vikings

  • Brief Histories
  • By: Jonathan Clements
  • Narrated by: Mark Meadows
  • Length: 8 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 64
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 57

Between the eighth and eleventh centuries, the Vikings surged from their Scandinavian homeland to trade, raid and invade along the coasts of Europe. Their influence and expeditions extended from Newfoundland to Baghdad, their battles were as far-flung as Africa and the Arctic. But were they great seafarers or desperate outcasts, noble heathens or oafish pirates, the last pagans or the first of the modern Europeans?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not narrated by Mark Meadows

  • By Portia on 26-01-14

An interesting time in history beautifully read

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

Reviewed: 14-01-14

Would you consider the audio edition of A Brief History of the Vikings to be better than the print version?

The wonderful narration is so much of my 'experience' of this book that I am not sure I would want to read a hard copy!

What did you like best about this story?

The dispelling of myths, and the exploration of how so many others came about.

Have you listened to any of Mark Meadows’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I will be searching out other works read by this narrator, as his reading is wonderful.

  • The Moneyless Man

  • A Year of Freeconomic Living
  • By: Mark Boyle
  • Narrated by: David Thorpe
  • Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 98
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

Imagine a year without spending - or even touching - money. Former businessman Mark Boyle did just that and here is his extraordinary story. Going back to basics and following his own strict rules, Mark learned ingenious ways to eliminate his bills and discovered that good friends are all the riches you need.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • the moneyless man

  • By Deirdre on 27-03-12

I should have liked this, but I really didn't

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

Reviewed: 13-01-14

Would you try another book written by Mark Boyle or narrated by David Thorpe?

No.

Has The Moneyless Man put you off other books in this genre?

Yes, to be honest. I have read a few, and this doesn't convince me to read more.

Any additional comments?

I am a left-leaning, mainly vegan, socialist simplicity seeker who loves reading books about environmental issues, 'downsizing' and philosophy around the way the current materialistic and capitalist system is shaping everything from the built environment to human happiness. So surely this is the book for me, right?
Um no.
I have the audiobook, and my heart started to sink as I heard the author (who also narrates) start with his little simplified explanation of how in the past everyone happily bartered, and then someone came along and invented money, and debt, and then things went pear shaped. Sorry, but this is just totally inaccurate, especially the whole 'everyone used to barter' idea. Perhaps the author should have read a book such as 'Debt: The First 5,000 Years' by David Graeber, which explains why this is just simply untrue (and is a much better book about the effects of debt and money).
There are also some other philosophical and historical ideas that really rubbed me the wrong way - Boyle falls in to the 'noble savage' fallacy idea at times that primitive tribes that weren't as materialistic didn't have theft or crime or whatever - and he can be very, very judgemental of other people's choices, alternating his 'my way or the highway' standpoint with some really naive viewpoints such as that you don't notice the changing of the seasons if you live in a city (speak for yourself), or that everyone except those that live in isolated country can connect with nature.
I really wanted to like this book. And I think his experiment, and many of the ideas behind it, are valuable. But his philosophy, writing style and frank naivety were off-putting for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • At Knit's End

  • Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much
  • By: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  • Length: 3 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 20

Like golfing, fishing, and gardening, knitting is an obsession. It's an activity fraught with guilt, frustration, over-optimism, sly deception, and compulsion, along with passionate moments of creative enlightenment - not to mention heaps of yarn you really think you'll knit someday. The first step toward recovery is getting help - and having a good laugh at your compulsion. At Knit's End is a wicked and wickedly funny fix for any knitter.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • what a waste

  • By Eva on 15-03-12

Not quite right for audio

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

Reviewed: 01-01-14

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The book is obviously written in short 'chunks' which doesn't work as an audiobook - it is too bitsy and has no flow and doesn't work well as a listening experience.

What was most disappointing about Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s story?

I have previously liked listening to Pearl-McPhee's books in audio format, so it is a disappointment this one is not good to listen to

  • Alex's Adventures in Numberland

  • Dispatches from the Wonderful World of Mathematics
  • By: Alex Bellos
  • Narrated by: Alex Bellos
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 242
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 164
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 163

The world of maths can seem mind-boggling, irrelevant and, let's face it, boring. This groundbreaking book reclaims maths from the geeks. Mathematical ideas underpin just about everything in our lives: from the surprising geometry of the 50p piece to how probability can help you win in any casino. In search of weird and wonderful mathematical phenomena, Alex Bellos travels across the globe and meets the world's fastest mental calculators in Germany and a startlingly numerate chimpanzee in Japan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful journey through mathematics

  • By Nichiless on 09-12-11

Maths for everyone, including non-Maths fans

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

Reviewed: 01-01-14

Where does Alex's Adventures in Numberland rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is rating pretty highly as it is both entertaining and educational.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

While it is interesting to have the book read by the author, his attempt at accents and other voices is terrible!! It is very off-putting in places.

A History of Hand Knitting cover art
  • A History of Hand Knitting

  • By: Richard Rutt
  • Narrated by: Melissa Hughes
  • Length: 4 hrs and 54 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

This is the only history of hand knitting. Rutt traces the mysterious history of this craft from ancient times to the present, examining museum collections, literary evidence, and popular legends.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A VERY abridged version of the original

  • By Natalia on 14-11-13

A VERY abridged version of the original

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

Reviewed: 14-11-13

Would you consider the audio edition of A History of Hand Knitting to be better than the print version?

No. It is very abridged but I guess there are reasons for it being such.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A History of Hand Knitting?

Learning about all the false stories behind the evolution of various garments, such as Aran Sweaters.

  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

  • By: Edward Gibbon
  • Narrated by: Bernard Mayes
  • Length: 41 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

Gibbon's monumental work traces the history of more than 13 centuries, covering the great events as well as the general historical progression. This first volume covers A.D. 180 to A.D. 395, which includes the establishment of Christianity and the Crusades.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stupendous

  • By melmoth2 on 28-01-08

Great book, poor recording

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

Reviewed: 04-09-13

What did you like about this audiobook?

This is one of the classics of the genre, and despite it's reputation for being dry and dusty is actually quite interesting with a wry sense of humour in places.

How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

I am already a great fan of books about Roman history, so reading one that is so important to books that came after just makes me want to read more.

Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

It really is the kind of style that you either enjoy it or hate it.

What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

While the narrator is okay, the sound quality is woeful - at times it sounds like there is another person reading in the background or that this has been copied over another recording!

Do you have any additional comments?

It is a shame that such a great book is let down by such bad recording quality.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful