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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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  • 235 reviews
  • 532 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 226 purchased in 2014
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  • Emerson: The Mind on Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Robert D. Richardson
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (34)

    Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the most important figures in the history of American thought, religion, and literature. The vitality of his writings and the unsettling power of his example continue to influence us more than a hundred years after his death. Now Robert D. Richardson Jr. brings to life an Emerson very different from the old stereotype of the passionless Sage of Concord.

    John says: "Entertaining, erudite, engaging"
    "A Benchmark in American Biographies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Devour the vulnerable and era-changing details about the man who was the leading voice of intellectual culture in the U.S.

    As an essayist and poet, Emerson spearheaded the Transcendentalist movement, spoke for the rights of the individual (including opposing slavery), and famously mentored Henry David Thoreau, who wrote Walden while living on Emerson’s land. He was the most influential writer of 19th-century America, and Richardson’s critically-acclaimed biography more than lives up to that legacy. A tour de force.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Critical Mass: Four Decades of Essays, Reviews, Hand Grenades and Hurrahs

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By James Wolcott
    • Narrated By Kevin T. Collins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Critical Mass is a treasure trove of sparkling, spiky prose and a fascinating portrait of our lives and cultural times over the past decades. In an age where a great deal of back scratching and softball pitching pass for criticism, James Wolcott’s fearless essays and reviews offer a bracing taste of the real critical thing.

    Susie says: "Forty Years of Astute, Opinionated Criticism"
    "Forty Years of Astute, Opinionated Criticism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    James Wolcott's writing still packs a punch and a guffaw. It's forty years of astute, opinionated cultural criticism. There aren't many writers around who have such a wide range of interests and can keep you eating it up subject by subject.

    Here, I was introduced to the slyly subversive humor of Mort Sahl, and reminded that Rock Hudson and Doris Day have a lot more to offer than a punchline to a joke about squares.

    Critical Mass is chock-full of cultural milestones, from the infamous Norman Mailer v. Gore Vidal smack-down on the Dick Cavett Show to a fresh new band performing at CBGBs: The Talking Heads. Where else are you going to get such an immediate account of the New York art scene as it happened, as if it were happening RIGHT NOW?

    Kevin T. Collin's narration has the air of seen-it-all, intellectual superiority and braggadocio of a long-time writer and critic. Wolcott holds some strong opinions, and Collins delivers them with conviction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Disappointed in You

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Mark Russell, Shannon Wheeler
    • Narrated By James Urbaniak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    God Is Disappointed in You is for people who would like to read the Bible...if it would just cut to the chase. Stripped of its arcane language and interminable passages, every book of the Bible is condensed down to its core message, in no more than a few pages each. Written by Mark Russell with cartoons by New Yorker cartoonist Shannon Wheeler, God Is Disappointed in You is a frequently hilarious, often shocking, but always accurate retelling of the Bible, including the parts selectively left out by Sunday School teachers.

    Jay Friedman says: "Nothing new, not really that funny"
    "Funny as Sin"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story of God's dysfunctional relationship with his chosen people.

    "Like most marriages, it was a non-sexual affair, but unlike most marriages, it was anything but snoozy and passionless. God's marriage to the Jews was a tempestuous, rancorous affair."

    The deadpan, impeccable comedic timing of James Urbaniac had me literally laughing out loud as I listened.

    After years of research and translation to pithy modern language,
    ​the authors point out that although so many people are saturated in Bible stories, few remember the absolute zaniness that goes on inside.

    ​If you love the Bible or you love a good Bible satire, it’s just as satisfying. ​

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Submergence

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By J. M. Ledgard
    • Narrated By Julian Elfer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In a room with no windows on the coast of Africa, an Englishman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Posing as a water expert to report on al-Qaeda activity in the area, he now faces extreme privation, mock executions, and forced marches through the arid badlands of Somalia. Thousands of miles away on the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders, a biomathematician, half-French, half-Australian, prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. Both are drawn back to the previous Christmas, where a chance encounter on the beach led to an intense and enduring romance.

    Susie says: "Terrorism, Captivity, Love, and Going Deep"
    "Terrorism, Captivity, Love, and Going Deep"
    Overall
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    Story

    Vividly written, with thoughtful, perfectly timed narration from Julian Elfer, "Submergence" will stick with me for a long time.

    The theme here is depth. Whether it's inward and personal, or literal oceanic depths, the characters are in a constant reckoning; the firsthand experience of global terrorism, love, marine biology, the past and the now.

    We first meet James in a windowless room in Somalia, keeping as far from his cardboard covered latrine as he can. His claustrophobic space forces him deeper into his thoughts and memories and his quest to keep a grasp on both dignity and reason.

    His great love is Danny, a multi-national Biomathematician. Confident and alone, she's singled out by her background and her intelligence.

    Their memories of their fateful meeting in a French hotel keep the book buoyant and is truly thrilling to listen to.

    J. M. Ledgard sets the scenes craftily. He conveys the sights and social nuance of place with historical accuracy to build philosophical questions brought up by the intricacies of global life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nowhere in Africa: An Autobiographical Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Stefanie Zweig
    • Narrated By Max Roll
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Nowhere in Africa is the extraordinary tale of a Jewish family who flees the Nazi regime in 1938 for a remote farm in Kenya. Abandoning their once-comfortable existence in Germany, Walter Redlich, his wife Jettel, and their five-year-old daughter, Regina, each deal with the harsh realities of their new life in different ways. Attorney Walter is resigned to working the farm as a caretaker; pampered Jettel resists adjustment at every turn; while the shy yet curious Regina immediately embraces the country - learning the local language and customs.

    Susie says: "Book Even Better than Oscar-Winning Movie"
    "Book Even Better than Oscar-Winning Movie"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This autobiographical novel operates on several levels: a holocaust memoir a thrilling adventure, and a family drama.

    Driven from Nazi Germany to Kenya, the family must adjust, with varying levels of success, to life in a completely foreign land. They were glad to be safe from the Nazis, but now had to contend with the racism and anti-semitism of their host nation, and the English colonizers, and also the guilt and worry of what was happening in Europe.

    Family dynamics, and the horror and confusion of displacement, are at the heart of this audiobook. The father's haunting guilt, the mother's resistance to change, daughter Regina's embrace of her new land. Africa, from the viewpoint of Regina, seems almost magical and full of possibility, but also completely destabilizing.

    Narrator, Max Roll has a wide variety of accents and personalities to contend with, and he does a superb job of making each voice distinct and alive. He brings pathos to the reading that adds tremendously to the story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: One CEO’s Quest for Meaning and Authenticity

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By August Turak
    • Narrated By August Turak
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    In addition to his work as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, and consultant, for the last 16 years August Turak worked alongside the Trappist monks of Mepkin Abbey, watching firsthand as they undertook new enterprises and sustained an incredibly successful business practice. Service and selflessness are at the heart of this 1,500-year-old monastic tradition’s remarkable business success, an ancient though immensely relevant economic model that preserves what is positive and productive about capitalism while transcending its ethical limitations and internal contradictions.

    Susie says: "Succeed in Business without Losing your Soul"
    "Succeed in Business without Losing your Soul"
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    Do you consider business writing heartless at worst, and boring at best? August Turak will change your mind. The rather wildly successful Turak takes his lessons from the monks of the Mepkin Abbey and shows how he brought them to work in his business... Fascinating.

    What I found especially gratifying were the peeks into the cycles of monastic life. Turak has a keen sense of what motivates and drives people and you see it in his observations here; planting, harvesting, meditation, meals, and also the personalities of the monks who lived there.

    Turak narrates himself and does a wonderful job of conveying his interest in the subject and regard for the people he's written about.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • House of Sable Locks

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Schechter
    • Narrated By Priscilla Carson, Roger Frisk
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    In a respectable neighborhood, on the top floor of a beautiful house, crouches the Succubus; by design, and by temperament, she is all that men crave and fear. To the wealthy and privileged men of London, the Succubus is a test they must pass to gain access to the House of Sable Locks, the most exclusive brothel in town. However, to William, a wealthy young man born and raised in India, she is the very essence of his desires.

    Susie says: "An Astonishing Steampunk Fairy Tale"
    "An Astonishing Steampunk Fairy Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elizabeth Schechter has written a stunner of a an erotic steampunk tale. She explores the roots of eroticism in our psyches, and our turn ons in our fears and in our playfulness. She takes her time revealing nuance and plot, but her confident, sensual prose immediately intrigues.

    The idea of exploring the intersection of man and machine is crucial today. Schechter makes us think about it afresh by placing the question in Victorian England. It's part ghost story, part sic-fi, and thoroughly romantic.

    Priscilla Carson and Roger Frisk add brilliant performances. Carson's mastery of languid pacing in her voicing of the Succubus gave me chills, and Frisk inhabited his characters. Right away, you could here the authority of class, and the insecurity beneath it. I couldn't wait for his capitulation and release.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Elisabeth Eaves
    • Narrated By Erin Bennett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Spanning 15 years of travel, beginning when she is a sophomore in college, Wanderlust documents Elisabeth Eaves’ insatiable hunger for the rush of the unfamiliar and the experience of encountering new people and cultures. Young and independent, she crisscrosses five continents and chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance.

    Susie says: "Travel for Love and Love of Travel"
    "Travel for Love and Love of Travel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Elizabeth Eaves takes you all over the world in this very personal account of her love affair with travel. We see the world through her eyes, but we also see the phenomenon of who we become when we explore a new place alone.

    "I traveled for love, and loved to travel, making it hard to disentangle cause from effect." Eaves's motivation is often love, or lust, and really, there is no "right" way to take a personal journey. She fell in love with who she became when she travelled, and the fulfillment she gained from her affairs along the way.

    Unguarded and truthful, this audiobook helps reveal the siren's song of travel that's been calling all along. I'm ready to ditch my attachments and set out to find the world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nicholas de Monchaux
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the lunar surface in July of 1969, they wore spacesuits made by Playtex: 21 layers of fabric, each with a distinct yet interrelated function, custom-sewn for them by seamstresses whose usual work was fashioning bras and girdles. This book is the story of that spacesuit. It is a story of the triumph over the military-industrial complex by the International Latex Corporation, best known by its consumer brand of "Playtex" - a victory of elegant softness over engineered hardness, of adaptation over cybernetics.

    Susie says: "Supple Triumphs Over Hard"
    "Supple Triumphs Over Hard"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    We are all so inured to the image of the Apollo 11 astronauts in their puffy marshmallow-man space suits, that we forget what sensational achievements those suits were. This is the story of how the elegant, but ultimately impractical designs of military industry were defeated by Playtex, makers of women’s undergarments, the people who knew how to fashion fit.

    Anyone looking for the irony in history here’s your audiobook. It’s filled with moments of deep moral inquiry juxtaposed with the absurd.

    These twenty-one essays, fascinating and funny, describe the suit and its evolution from fashion, manufacture, the absurd things expected of earth-evolved human bodies in outer space, the space race, and more.

    Bronson Pinchot catches all the dry humor in the book and gives a truly entertaining reading of the many passages like the following,

    “Once agreed upon, the only problem came with sizing the most intimate part of the suit assembly, the urinary collection device (UCD) that slid over the astronaut’s penis. After an “incident” with the first astronaut fitted for the device, the UCD’s designations were changed from ‘Small, Medium, Large’ to ‘Large, Extra Large,’ and ‘Extra-Extra Large.’”

    Well, now we know.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Acid Dreams: The Complete Social History of LSD: The CIA, the Sixties, and Beyond

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Martin A. Lee, Bruce Shlain
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Few events have had a more profound impact on the social and cultural upheavals of the Sixties than the psychedelic revolution spawned by the spread of LSD. This audiobook for the first time tells the full and astounding story - part of it hidden till now in secret Government files - of the role the mind-altering drug played in our recent turbulent history and the continuing influence it has on our time. And what a story it is, beginning with LSD’s discovery in 1943 as the most potent drug known to science.

    Susie says: "Mind. Blown."
    "Mind. Blown."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You may THINK you know all about the CIA and its LSD experiments on soldiers and civilians— but you don’t know the half of it.

    Thought the hippies came up with the phrase “trip?” No— it was the military. The CIA was OBSESSED in the Cold War idea of a truth serum, convinced the Soviets had their own, but their experiments went way further. Their perversion will astound you: force-fed acid trips, doses there was no way to come back from, secrets and lies.

    "Acid Dreams" is a thorough and serious book, but it’s full of juicy details and the kind of improbable stories that turn history into entertainment.

    There have been other books about LSD after this, but nothing has surpassed this gem. It should have been on audio long ago. Tune in and turn on!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Coming Out Atheist: How to Do It, How to Help Each Other, and Why

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Greta Christina
    • Narrated By Greta Christina
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Coming out as an atheist is a powerful, liberating act. It makes life better for you, for other atheists, and for the world. But telling people you're an atheist can be risky. What are the best ways to do it? And how can we help each other take this step? In this compassionate, friendly, down-to-earth how-to guide, popular author of Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godless and blogger Greta Christina, offers concrete strategies and guiding philosophies for coming out as an atheist.

    NateHevens says: "Absolutely Perfect"
    "All the Motivation You'll Need"
    Overall
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    When I asked Greta Christina to write and record for Audible “Why are You Atheists so Angry?” I had no idea the tremendous response it would get. It remains one of the best-selling books I’ve produced here at Audible.

    “Coming Out Atheist” is a worthy successor. Greta reaches out to those who need encouragement and tells the experiences of those who took the plunge to let their friends, family and colleagues know what they really believe and who they truly are.

    Greta is like a best friend offering, stories, advice, sympathy, and motivation to come out.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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