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Ballina Beach

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 16
  • helpful votes
  • 62
  • ratings
  • The Fifth Risk

  • Undoing Democracy
  • By: Michael Lewis
  • Narrated by: Victor Bevine
  • Length: 5 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49

The morning after Trump was elected president, the people who ran the US Department of Energy - an agency that deals with some of the most powerful risks facing humanity - waited to welcome the incoming administration's transition team. Nobody appeared. Across the US government, the same thing happened: nothing. People don't notice when stuff goes right. That is the stuff government does. It manages everything that underpins our lives from funding free school meals, to policing rogue nuclear activity, to predicting extreme weather events.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lewis has done it again

  • By Anonymous User on 29-10-2018

Wow!

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

Reviewed: 23-11-2018

Read this book! It’s brilliant and scary. This is the invisible working of government Amazing! Well-written & researched Michael Lewis’ trademark.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The North Water

  • By: Ian McGuire
  • Narrated by: John Keating
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 104

Behold the man: Stinking, drunk, brutal and bloodthirsty, Henry Drax is a harpooner on the Volunteer, a Yorkshire whaling ship bound for the hunting waters of the Arctic Circle. Also aboard is Patrick Sumner, an ex-army surgeon with a shattered reputation, no money, and no better option than to embark as ship's medic on this ill-fated voyage.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gritty boat ride

  • By Anonymous User on 06-10-2018

North Water shimmers & shines

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

Reviewed: 24-05-2017

Haunting story. Absolutely gripping. Characters unforgettable, richly drawn, very human, all male cast but that's the whaling industry.
The reader is Irish, so works well with story line as Sumner is Irish late of the British army.
John Keating really made the story come alive. Book is a little bloodthirsty but again like the whalers

  • Days Without End

  • By: Sebastian Barry
  • Narrated by: Aidan Kelly
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 54
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53

Having signed up for the US Army in the 1850s, aged barely 17, Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian wars and ultimately the Civil War. Orphans of terrible hardships themselves, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in, they find these days to be vivid. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Riveting

  • By LYNNEF on 29-09-2017

Wish this book wouldn't end!!

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

Reviewed: 21-05-2017

The story is extraordinary & quite haunting. Set in the Civil War but very relevant to today's world. The characters of Thomas McNulty, john Cole & Winona stay in your head. This is a great story & the performance by Aidan Kelly is brilliant! He is a very gifted reader. I'm definitely going to listen to his other books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Eligible

  • By: Curtis Sittenfeld
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 55
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 54

From the best-selling author of Prep, American Wife and Sisterland comes this brilliant retelling of Pride & Prejudice, set in modern-day Cincinnati. The Bennet sisters have been summoned from New York City. Liz and Jane are good daughters. They've come home to suburban Cincinnati to get their mother to stop feeding their father steak as he recovers from heart surgery, to tidy up the crumbling Tudor-style family home and to wrench their three sisters from their various states of arrested development.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Massive disappointment

  • By chickybabe3 on 06-05-2016

Hilarious 21st century Pride & Prejudice

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

Reviewed: 24-04-2017

I'm sure Jane Austen would give her approval to this very clever, very witty and laugh-out-loud updating of her 1813 novel. I'm a big Jane Austen fan: her wit, language, and sentence construction are marvellous; Curtis Sittenfeld does her justice and keeps the characters true to their original author's intentions. I've read many "updated" Pride & Prejudices and they fail miserably unlike this clever jewel crafted by a terrific writer.

Cassandra Campbell does a great job narrating. I've not heard her before, but I will look for some of her narrations.

  • The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague

  • By: Dorsey Armstrong, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Dorsey Armstrong
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 67
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 61

Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But the Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural. In its wake the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the church, political institutions, law, art, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating & gripping

  • By Ballina Beach on 08-10-2016

Fascinating & gripping

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

Reviewed: 08-10-2016

Professor Dorsey Armstrong is one of those rare teachers & speakers who has an enormous wealth of valuable and interesting information and share it with her audience with humour, compassion and cadence. She really brought the period alive. Outstanding! I will definitely search for her other courses.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Shakespeare

  • The World as a Stage
  • By: Bill Bryson
  • Narrated by: Bill Bryson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 36

Shakespeare's life, despite the scrutiny of generations of biographers and scholars, is still a thicket of myths and traditions, some preposterous, some conflicting, arranged around the few scant facts known about the Bard: from his birth in Stratford to the bequest of his second best bed to his wife when he died.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enjoyable, fun, & informative

  • By Ballina Beach on 11-04-2016

Enjoyable, fun, & informative

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

Reviewed: 11-04-2016

Bill Bryson has done a terrific job distilling Shakespeare scholarship into a very enjoyable 5 hours. He covers all the big issues & even the silly ones (did Shakespeare really write his plays?). His chapters on the life in London & theatre- going public were fabulous. We even learnt what people could buy for snacks (apples, pears, nuts, ale). Highly recommend this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Dark Net

  • By: Jamie Bartlett
  • Narrated by: Matt Bates
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

The Dark Net is not a separate realm but one that stretches from popular social media sites to the most secretive corners of the deep web. It is a world that is rarely out of the news but one that is little understood - and almost never explored. In The Dark Net, Jamie Bartlett presents a revelatory portrait of the internet's strangest subcultures: of trolls, drug dealers, hackers and political extremists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating mirror of our 21st century

  • By Ballina Beach on 10-04-2016

Fascinating mirror of our 21st century

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

Reviewed: 10-04-2016

Very well written & researched. Just the right balance of humour, facts, and his own experiences made for an enthralling journey into the Dark net. His nuanced & thoughtful insights gave me a real understanding of this parallel net. I'd recommend it. I listened to it in one sitting.

  • The Orphan Master's Son

  • A Novel
  • By: Adam Johnson
  • Narrated by: Tim Kang, Josiah D. Lee, James Kyson Lee, and others
  • Length: 19 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 35

Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother - a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang - and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous journey with John Doe (Jun Do)

  • By Ballina Beach on 29-07-2015

Fabulous journey with John Doe (Jun Do)

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

Reviewed: 29-07-2015

Extraordinary insight into life of the people under the completely mad dictatorship. Much more compelling following the life of Jun Do. And in part 2 of the interrogator as well as the new jun do. Very clever. Could not stop reading/listening!!
Marvellous & imaginative.
Narrators excellent

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Mindfulness for Beginners

  • By: Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Narrated by: Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Length: 2 hrs and 24 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

What if you could profoundly change your life just by becoming more mindful of your breathing? According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, you can. What if "paying attention on purpose and non-judgmentally" could improve your health? Again, according to Dr. Kabat-Zinn, it can.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Learning from the Master

  • By Ballina Beach on 14-07-2015

Learning from the Master

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

Reviewed: 14-07-2015

The genius of audible books is to hear the cadence of the author: here Jon Kabat -Zinn explains mindfulness in his own words, literally. Quite an enhanced experience from reading the text; it's as if you are having a private workshop with this remarkable person.

I highly recommend this audible book & I look forward to hearing his other books

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Just Mercy

  • A Story of Justice and Redemption
  • By: Bryan Stevenson
  • Narrated by: Bryan Stevenson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 58

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Had To Be Told

  • By Peter James Love on 16-08-2018

Powerful story

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

Reviewed: 05-07-2015

Bryan Stevenson is a remarkable person: inspirational, humble, devoted to the cause of helping those who most need help. His reading was masterful & heartfelt. Very moving.