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Susie

I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."

Santa Cruz, CA, United States | Member Since 2012

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  • 223 reviews
  • 465 ratings
  • 936 titles in library
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  • Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Peter L. Winkler
    • Narrated By Greg Itzin
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (26)

    One of America's most intriguing show-business luminaries and true rebels, Dennis Hopper's amazing life was a roller-coaster series of triumphs and failures. Always intent on proving his genius and leaving a legacy, the Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Hopper acted in more than 115 movies and four TV series, directed seven films, and passionately pursued an artist's life as a photographer and creator and collector of modern art.

    Susie says: "Sex, Drugs, & Hollywood Money"
    "Sex, Drugs, & Hollywood Money"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought I knew Dennis Hopper, but the first chapter of this book left my jaw open— What an incredible childhood! He was lucky to live through it.

    Hopper was “discovered” in Hollywood by falling off a log— it was so easy for him. He would just show up and get attention the minute he walked through the door.

    Winkler spares no private details. “Names are named,” he promises, and they are. You’ll learn every gruesome deal in movie industry, plus the requisite 60s-level sex and drugs. And the art. Of course, the art.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Donnie Eichar
    • Narrated By Donnie Eichar
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (35)

    In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.

    Bruce says: "Fascinating and compassionate investigation"
    "Something Out There"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Before coming across this audiobook, I’d never heard of the disappearance of Soviet students in the Ural Mountains known as Dyatlov Pass Incident, but the mystery reeled me in. It might as well be an idea for a Twilight Zone, or X-files script.

    Nine young, healthy, experienced hikers set out on a trek through the Urals, set up camp, and then flee their tent without proper gear, or even their shoes. Their bodies are later found frozen and injured. Why did they leave?

    Donnie Eichar, who narrates himself, wanted to know too, so he set out in their footprints to solve the riddle. His book offers an investigation that gives a heartbreaking portrait of these doomed hikers, the search for them afterwards, and his own inquiry.

    His conclusions may not have settled all the questions surrounding the Dead Mountain incident, but the story getting there is as engrossing as any unsolved mystery.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Susan Bordo
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Part biography, part cultural history, The Creation of Anne Boleyn is a fascinating reconstruction of Anne’s life and an illuminating look at her afterlife in the popular imagination. Why is Anne so compelling? Why has she inspired such extreme reactions? What did she really look like? Was she the flaxen-haired martyr of Romantic paintings or the raven-haired seductress of twenty-first-century portrayals? (Answer: Neither.) And perhaps the most provocative questions concern Anne’s death more than her life.

    Roswatheist says: "Most Enjoyable Biography--Win!"
    "Our Anne, Ourselves"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not a biography of Anne Boleyn, this is a analysis of what each generation and writer, creates out of the historical character Anne Boleyn. She’s a woman re-made in every era’s imagination to serve the teller, from Chapuys’s contemporary slandering of “the whore,” to today’s feminist icon, or slutty vixen—take your pick.

    When Anne’s head came off, her words and images, and even friendships were erased, so every image we get of Anne says more about the person writing about her than it does about the subject.

    Susan Bordo gives you all the angles, all the trashy viper-pit details of royal life, and still separates the facts from speculation. Her chatty, dry, deadly wit make this audiobook addictive.

    Barbera Rosenblat brought so much sensibility and sharp-tongued knowing humor to the reading. She’s a perfect match.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Dan Bischoff
    • Narrated By John Ventimiglia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    James Gandolfini: The Real Life of the Man Who Made Tony Soprano is the first biography of the actor, who died in June 2013 at age 51, widely recognized as one of the best - and most defining - actors of his generation. The audiobook, as performed by Gandolfini's Sopranos co-star John Ventimiglia (Artie Bucco), is informed by fresh interviews with Sopranos actors, HBO executives, the star’s acting teachers and coaches, his childhood friends, buddies from his days as a nightclub bouncer, and Hollywood figures including the directors of his posthumously released films.

    Susie says: "The Moving Story of a Man Who Touched Our Lives"
    "The Moving Story of a Man Who Touched Our Lives"
    Overall
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    James Gandolfini, gave a soul to suburban New Jersey dad and mob killer, Tony Soprano. When he died suddenly of a heart attack last year, it felt like a family member had died. But Gandolfini was not Tony Soprano, he was so much deeper, kinder and more complex.

    Dan Bischoff’s biography maps out the life of a man that touched all our lives. From his Italian American background, growing up in New Jersey, experiences as a working man, to becoming an actor and philanthropist.

    This book gave me insight into the blossoming of an artist, and of a man ready to give back through his work and films for the charity Wounded Warrior Project (never touted in any publicity for self celebration).

    John Ventimiglia, who played Artie Bucco on “The Sopranos” really put his heart into narrating this. His performance is that of an insider, fluid and heartfelt.

    Written at a tight journalistic clip, this is a great listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Minecraft: The Unlikely Tale of Markus 'Notch' Persson and the Game that Changed Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Linus Larsson, Daniel Goldberg, Jennifer Hawkins (translator)
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (16)

    Three years ago, 32-year-old Markus "Notch" Persson of Stockholm was an unknown and bored computer programmer. Today, he is a multi-millionaire international icon. Minecraft, the "virtual Lego" game Markus crafted in his free time, has become one of the most talked about activities since Tetris. Talked about by tens of millions of people, in fact.It is the story of unlikely success, fast money, and the power of digital technology to rattle an empire. And it is about creation, exclusion, and the feeling of not fitting in.

    Susie says: "From Legos to Pixels"
    "From Legos to Pixels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    From saying, as an adult, “Mom I’m going to live with you forever,” to one of the biggest names in gaming, Markus “Notch” Persson is an example of the old cliché that following one’s dreams will pay off.

    The game “Minecraft" looks deceptively simple, but once you dive in, it expands into an entire block-y universe. People build fortresses, castles and scale models of real life objects. I’ve even heard of one player’s quest to find the edge of the “Minecraft" world.

    Where did this phenomenon come from?

    Persson went from using the computer as a sanctuary alone with his thoughts away from family tensions, to building a community online and in real life.

    This book does an excellent job of subtly pointing out the roots of “Minecraft” in Persson’s life; Legos, “Boulder Dash,” “Magic the Gathering.”

    But it also tells the story of someone relatable, someone with an un-extraordinary background, but who always knew what he wanted to do, and through perseverance, challenged the status quo of gaming (macho guys killing each other), and created something playful and creative that he is proud of, and is beloved by gamers all over.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Young People’s History of the United States

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Howard Zinn, Rebecca Stefoff
    • Narrated By Jeff Zinn
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Beginning with a look at Christopher Columbus’s arrival through the eyes of the Arawak Indians, then leading the reader through the struggles for workers’ rights, women’s rights, and civil rights during the 19th and 20th centuries, and ending with the current protests against continued American imperialism, Zinn in the volumes of A Young People’s History of the United States presents a radical new way of understanding America’s history. In so doing, he reminds listeners that America’s true greatness is shaped by our dissident voices, not our military generals.

    Susie says: "An Inclusive History for Young People"
    "An Inclusive History for Young People"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Howard Zinn's classic history of the US from the viewpoint of the Native Americans, slaves, and other underdogs has not only been revised for young people, it INCLUDES the history of young people; young sailors on Columbus's ships, young soldiers, young servants.

    This is an essential companion to the standard history we were taught in school. Zinn takes Churchill’s famous line, “History is written by the victors,” and turns it upside down. He writes, “Every historian’s own ideas and beliefs go into the way he or she writes history,” and he takes the view of “more than just the conquerers and leaders.” He gives a voice to the vanquished.

    In this young people’s version, violence of American history has not been whitewashed, but it has been made less graphic, and all has been simplified, though certainly not dumbed down.

    Jeff Zinn’s narration keeps it all clear and steers away from the strident outrage that could so easily creep in to the subject.

    Compellingly written and inclusive, this is a great listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • In the Morning I'll Be Gone: Troubles Trilogy, Book 3 (Detective Sean Duffy, Book 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (201)
    Performance
    (187)
    Story
    (184)

    It's the early 1980s in Belfast. Sean Duffy, a conflicted Catholic cop in the Protestant RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary), is recruited by MI5 to hunt down Dermot McCann, an IRA master bomber who has made a daring escape from the notorious Maze prison. In the course of his investigations, Sean discovers a woman who may hold the key to Dermot's whereabouts; she herself wants justice for her daughter who died in mysterious circumstances in a pub locked from the inside.

    B.J. says: "Great conclusion to a terrific trilogy."
    "Absolutely the best yet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have waited so long for this finale to the "Troubles Trilogy" that when I met a woman in a local bar with a early release UK copy of the paperback, I practically wrestled her to the floor. Now, I have both Kindle and audio in my greedy hands, and it's as gratifying as one could hope for. The appearances by 'Joe Kennedy," "Gerry Adams," and "Margaret Thatcher" --- I can't even decide who packs the most punch! Gerard Doyle, hats off, and Adrian, you have made a historical contribution to Great Irish antiheroes, locked box mysteries, and the sexiest fatalistic detective ever.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Eve: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Ariel Gore
    • Narrated By Ariel Gore
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    At age 39, Ariel Gore has everything she’s always wanted: a successful writing career, a long-term partnership, a beautiful if tiny home, a daughter in college and a son in preschool. But life’s happy endings don’t always last. If it’s not one thing, after all, it’s your mother. Her name is Eve. Her epic temper tantrums have already gotten her banned from three cab companies in Portland. And she’s here to announce that she’s dying.

    Susie says: "Get Ready for a Bumpy Ride"
    "Get Ready for a Bumpy Ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ariel Gore’s sensitive, sardonic memoir of her mother’s death from cancer is not what you'd expect. This was no graceful exit.

    When Ariel's mother, who found too much humor in repeated watchings of "Mommy Dearest;" who got herself banned from three different Portland cab companies for histrionics, calls her up with the news that she has terminal lung cancer, Ariel realizes she's going to have to step up to the plate to take care of her.

    But as Admiral Ackbar says, "It's a trap!"

    Yes, her mother is dying, but she's going to burn down the funeral home on the way out. Ariel loses her home, her lover, and nearly, her wits as her manipulative mother makes further and further demands, and exacts revenge if those demands aren't met.

    Ariel finds the strength, the humor, and the whiskey to keep at it and keep it together. She does what she must to see her mother through to the end and she stays on her path to find peace and new love in the end.

    Ariel's own voice was the only choice for this reading. Who else could bring all the nuance of conflicting emotions to such a tough book to get right?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jane Goes Batty

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Michael Thomas Ford
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    After 200 years undead, Jane Austen still has bite. But will her most recent literary success be her last? Life was a lot easier for Jane when she was just an unknown, undead bookstore owner in a sleepy hamlet in upstate New York. But now the world embraces her as Jane Fairfax, author of the best-selling novel Constance - and she’s having a killer time trying to keep her true identity as the Jane Austen a secret. Even the ongoing lessons in How to Be a Vampire, taught by her former lover Lord Byron, don’t seem to be helping much.

    Susie says: "Jane Austen as We've Always Wanted Her"
    "Jane Austen as We've Always Wanted Her"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This follow up to “Jane Bites Back” is every bit as witty, juicy and bloody. Here is Jane Austen as we always wanted her, immortal, deadly, witty as heck, and most importantly, still writing.

    This time around, she’s a successful “debut” author being dogged by fans, reviewers, and filmmakers producing a film version of her new work. Add in a fiancé who wants her to convert to Judaism, and a potential mother in law who is also—yes a vampire hunter.

    Thomas Michael Ford is up to the task of keeping this madcap comedy rolling along. He possesses an arch wit and deadly sense of drama that few can rival.

    Once again Katherine Kellgren narrates seamlessly, with a whole town’s worth of voices keeping everything going at a satisfying clip.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Love and Fatigue in America: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Roger King
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Love and Fatigue in America records an Englishman’s decade-long journey through his newly adopted country in the company of a mystifying illness and a charismatic dog. When he receives an unexpected invitation from an unfamiliar American university, he embraces it as a triumphant new beginning. Instead, on arrival, he is stricken with a persistent inability to stand up or think straight, and things quickly go wrong. Diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome he moves from state to state, woman to woman, and eccentric doctor to eccentric doctor.

    Susie says: "The Unexpected Bible of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"
    "The Unexpected Bible of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Roger King was an English professor, who, filled with a bit of hubris, accepted a prestigious appointment in the US, and got ready to start what he thought would be his new sex and romance-filled, ego-stoking adventure.

    To his shock, his health crashed, and no one could explain what the hell had happened to him. He'd developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or ME.

    Love and Fatigue in America is his fictionalized account of his experience.

    Instead of teaching college students, the nameless narrator ends up wandering state to state, and woman to woman, sleeping on strangers' couches, the only constant in his life, his dog.

    His insights into masculinity, sexuality, and the American healthcare system, in the face of the mysteries and incapacities of ME, are startling.

    His poetic, satiric epilogue, "The Benefits of Illness," should be made into a poster and widely wheat-pasted at every doctor's office!

    Graeme Malcom is a fantastic narrator, and I was glad to be with him for the whole trip.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Swallow the Ocean: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Laura M. Flynn
    • Narrated By Julie McKay
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Charismatic, beautiful Sally Flynn was the center of her daughters' imaginations, particularly Laura's. Without warning, life as they knew it changed as paranoid schizophrenia overtook Sally. Whether it was accusing Laura’s father of trying to win her over to the side of Satan, or buying only certain products that were evil-free, glimmers of her mother’s future paranoia grew brighter as Laura’s early years passed. Once her husband left the family and filed for divorce, Sally’s symptoms bloomed in earnest, and the three girls united in flights of fancy of the sort their mother had taught them in order to deflect danger.

    Susie says: "Living in the Logic of a Parent's Delusion"
    "Living in the Logic of a Parent's Delusion"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In Swallow the Ocean, Laura M. Flynn describes what it was like when, as a child, her world fell apart. Her confident, beautiful mother was overcome by paranoid schizophrenia.

    “I lived in her world, and even if none of this was real to other people, the consequences were real to me.”

    While there are a lot of mental illness memoirs out there, Flynn’s stands out for her seamless writing, her evocative remembrance of Seventies San Francisco, and her ability to make clear the childhood logistics of having an unstable caregiver.

    Narrated by Julie McKay who has a really nice emotive range, and sympathy for the nuances of the narrators emotions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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