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Philip

Upper Hutt, New Zealand
  • 29
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 309
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  • Why We Sleep

  • The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
  • By: Matthew Walker
  • Narrated by: John Sackville
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 867
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 770
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 761

Why can some birds sleep with only half of their brain? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? Sleep is one of the most important but least understood aspects of our life, health and longevity. Until very recently, science had no answer to the question of why we sleep or what good it serves or why we suffer such devastating health consequences when it is absent. In this book, neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker charts 20 years of cutting-edge research.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • amazing book. loved it. so mush fresh information.

  • By Paul Kuhnast on 15-03-2018

A must for doctors and insomniacs

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

Reviewed: 04-06-2019

Not sure I enjoyed the narrator as he sounded more media than academic but the content was seriously enlightening. I wonder if a a few critiques of this book might have helped the context although one hopes such an eminent academic would have got the balance right. At times the narrator overstressed matters a little more than I think the author might have intended. I felt the medication section was a little deficient as this was my main interest. Nevertheless, a huge task summarising a lifetime of study and what a huge subject! Hopefully Matthew Walker will revise over time as new research emerges. Unusually, I may reread this more than a few times and will download the book for my reference (as an academic reader in a related discipline hopefully this might offer a few references).

  • The Parihaka Woman

  • By: Witi Ihimaera
  • Narrated by: Jim Moriarty, Shavaughn Ruakere
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3

A wonderfully surprising, inventive and deeply moving riff on fact and fiction, history and imagination from one of New Zealand's finest and most memorable storytellers. There has never been a New Zealand novel quite like The Parihaka Woman. Richly imaginative and original, weaving together fact and fiction, it sets the remarkable story of Erenora against the historical background of the turbulent and compelling events that occurred in Parihaka during the 1870s and 1880s.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A romantic and important historical novel

  • By Philip on 29-05-2019

A romantic and important historical novel

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

Reviewed: 29-05-2019

Although one often wonders about the facts of this story, one rarely doubts its sentiments. Lovingly presented by native speakers, and particularly so by the lilting storytelling voice of Jim Moriaty. Clearly this is one part of a large collection of stories which might never have been heard. I hope they are all completed and others follow this example. The Māori perspective of colonisation here, at this time (late 19th and early 20th century), are probably accurate even if not written in a Pākehā history. It is inconceivable that the colonials of that time were anything but white supremecists even if some of them may have been kinder than others. One resists the notion that such discriminations do not still occur but, although more subtle, they most definitely do. If only we could hear from those who see a future, a development and solution to the NZ Māori ‘problem’, but one must acknowledge that visiting and righting history must be the start of it. I look forward to many more books by this author.

  • The Secrets She Keeps

  • By: Michael Robotham
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 468
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 423
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 424

Everyone has an idea of what their perfect life is. For Agatha, it's Meghan Shaughnessy's. These two women from vastly different backgrounds have one thing in common - a dangerous secret that could destroy everything they hold dear. Both will risk everything to hide the truth, but their worlds are about to collide in a shocking act that cannot be undone.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • great book. reader was a little annoying.

  • By jess on 05-02-2018

Ingenious story of love, infidelity and neglect

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

Reviewed: 22-05-2019

There are a number of interesting a credible characters in this book which clearly is sourced in the modern life. The contrast of morality in the middle vs working classes and their similarities, needs and the human pain we can all experience. Although one of the genre of ‘girl/wife’ stories this touched on the sadness of those who cannot have the lives they deserve through their history of childhood neglect, abuse, and the absence of parental love or care. One sees this everyday in the poorer sections of our communities, at least in the work I do in primary care. Yes it exists in the higher echelons too but the lack of resources, education and the secrets that exist within families makes this more prevalent in those without status and influence. I enjoyed this more than the ‘Other Wife’ but Robotham is a good story teller and this narrator worked well with his material and created distinct characters as if a play or book with several individuals. She created empathy and understanding of each.

  • The Last Anniversary

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 14 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 647
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 577
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 579

"I'll tell you something, something important. Love is a decision. Not a feeling. That's what you young people don't realise. That's why you're always off divorcing each other. No offence, dear." So decrees the formidable Connie Thrum of Scribbly Gum Island. She is the chief decision-maker of a rather unconventional family and her word is law. It's been over seventy years since Connie and her sister Rose visited their neighbours and found the kettle boiling and a baby waking for her feed, but no sign of her parents.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Slow

  • By lolita on 14-06-2015

Modern day Maeve Binchy?

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

Reviewed: 08-05-2019

I suppose, depending on your perspective, this may not be a compliment although in my case it is. There are many excellent female writers but few concentrate so well on families, their odd and discordant personality types and their obsessions/fears as well as Liane Moriarty. Maybe I could have rated it higher but the genre prevents me from doing so (well read classics being at best 5s). Here there was a clever blending or humour and deadly serious all told with suitable tongue in cheek without any hint of reticence. Hugely enjoyable even when the twists become almost too much for anything but farce. I shall certainly read more of her work. I am moving now to Ben Elton - who surprisingly I have never read - and do hope, as a male equivalent, he can hold up to this comic standard. After all he is a veteran of this genre - one of the few men who major in comic writing and scrips.

  • The Essex Serpent

  • By: Sarah Perry
  • Narrated by: Juanita McMahon
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

London 1893: When Cora Seaborne and her son Francis reach Essex, rumours spread from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist is enthralled, convinced that it may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail she meets William Ransome, Aldwinter's vicar.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Modern Classic

  • By Philip on 15-04-2019

A Modern Classic

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

Reviewed: 15-04-2019

Sara Perry is undoubtedly an accomplished new literary force. The Essex Serpent has overtones of Hardy, Bronte, Lawrence, Forster, and st times Dostoyevski and her prose is rich and mature. A book for study and analysis . This is a book is to be to re-read like many classics because each time you will discover new insights, twists and turn. In addition, the narration could not have been better and added significantly to the authors own narrative. She was a very special past if this book. However, unlike Dickens, the author still just about fails to tell a story of depth, although she does paint a very big canvas. Why must these two aspects of writing be so detached?

So I think a must read but it will not become I think become a popular best seller. I suspect the author is not displeased with this.not for your average reader/listener.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Try Not to Breathe

  • By: Holly Seddon
  • Narrated by: Jot Davies, Lucy Middleweek, Katy Sobey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 827
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 776
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 780

For fans of Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman, and Paula Hawkins comes Holly Seddon's arresting fiction debut: an engrossing thriller full of page-turning twists and turns, richly imagined characters, and gripping psychological suspense. Some secrets never die. They're just locked away. Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Complex mystery, chilling theme

  • By Heidi (but books are better) on 07-05-2016

Intriguing plot

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

Reviewed: 05-04-2019

Part of a new genre of girl books. Several periods, several readers. Worth a read. Light reading.

  • The Trauma Cleaner

  • By: Sarah Krasnostein
  • Narrated by: Rachael Tidd
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,659
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,538
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,540

Sandra Pankhurst founded her trauma cleaning business to help people whose emotional scars are written on their houses. From the forgotten flat of a drug addict, to the infested home of a hoarder, Sandra enters properties and lives at the same time. But few of the people she looks after know anything of the complexity of Sandra's own life. Raised in an uncaring home, Sandra's miraculous gift for warmth and humour in the face of unspeakable personal tragedy, mark her out as a one-off and make this biography unmissable.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A brilliant narrative masterly voiced

  • By Philip on 19-04-2018

A novel and interesting theme

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

Reviewed: 28-03-2019

The history of a remarkable person battling with demons of life and how these can never get buried. Quite a novel story which I presumed to be based on fact (I did not check) and the unearthing of a narrative buried in time and surrogated in other ‘traumas’ in life. The is book is nave it’s own metaphor. I would have liked a more substantial ending but maybe that is not to everyones taste and certainly not the author. A good listen narrative good but could have been more than a voice of conscience.

  • The Alice Network

  • A Novel
  • By: Kate Quinn
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 15 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 248
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249

In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Anonymous User on 14-08-2017

A good read but.....

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

Reviewed: 02-03-2019

....there are so many great books now about the Second World War and Nazi behaviours that this book perhaps only explores the more novel area of the ‘collaborators’. Otherwise, it adds little more to that genre. It is a good read though but arguably did not, for me at least, reach the level of the ‘Lilac Girls’ or ‘Tattoist of Auschwitz’. Of course, these latter are historical novels which only make the horrors more awful.

  • This Is Going to Hurt

  • Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor
  • By: Adam Kay
  • Narrated by: Adam Kay
  • Length: 6 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 458
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 457

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you. Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay's This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know - and more than a few things you didn't - about life on and off the hospital ward.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not for the prudish but well written/read

  • By Carron on 11-08-2018

One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest?

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

Reviewed: 07-01-2019

I chose this title because of the books structure. It started as a rather silly book of doctor jokes for junior doctors and then ended more powerfully. So why the parallel? Well I think it made me sad (as did cuckoos nest) because the jolly characters had feelings. I feel sad that young doctors are going through all this now when years ago I felt the same and even now (as an ancient relic and a community based Carer) I feel the same disrespect by politicians, colleagues and sometimes patients and their families who do not understand the pressures of doctors lives relative to the trivia of their own (that is a generalisation that will sound arrogant but largely true). The moaning about being 30 minutes late for their appointment as they have to pick up their groceries. They rarely acknowledge the humanity and vulnerabilities within us. Once we were gods. Now sometimes we are vermin as judged by mice. Very sad society dumps on doctors, nurses, policemen and teachers. Maybe we should start to fight back rather than be hounded out of our careers? At least I will retire from mine, if not entirely unscathed like the author of this book.

  • Don't Believe It

  • By: Charlie Donlea
  • Narrated by: Nina Alvamar
  • Length: 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history - a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over 12 weeks and centres on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a spring break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work?  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fiction not a true story

  • By Philip on 19-11-2018

Fiction not a true story

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

Reviewed: 19-11-2018

There were times when I could not decide if this was a a novel about a true story or, simply, a novel. It is certainly a murder mystery and the plot runs quite a dance until you decide that Colonel Mustard has used the candelabra in the drawing room. Narration quite good but, for be at least, not exactly right for this book. Overall what transpires is an intriguing story, if a little on the edge of credibility, especially when the heroine meets a sticky end just when she was getting close to the Colonel. Oh well. It end telling you another book must be on the way. This male author does want to punish his heroines.

Of course, I would recommend this book. It was a good read with many twists snd turns in it. And in the drive I couldn’t tear myself away from it. I will look out for Charlie Donlea’s sequel In due course.