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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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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 246 reviews
  • 753 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 60 purchased in 2015
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246

  • Interventions

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Noam Chomsky
    • Narrated By Peter Johnson
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (28)

    Interventions, by Noam Chomsky, is getting new press after the Pentagon banned the book from Guantanamo Bay's prison library. Interventions is Noam Chomsky at his best. Not since his all-time best-selling title, 9/11, published in the Open Media series in 2001, have readers and listeners had a timely, short, affordable Chomsky. Unlike 9/11, Interventions is a writerly work - a series of more than 30 tightly argued essays aimed at various aspects of U.S. power and politics in the post-9/11 world. While critical of U.S. military interventions around the globe, each piece in the book is in itself an intellectual intervention.

    Susie says: "Chomsky on Fire"
    "Chomsky on Fire"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interventions is a series of 30+ tightly-argued essays aimed at US power and politics in the post-9/11 world. Interventions is designed to raise lucid awareness about the consequences of U.S. power moves at home and abroad— from Social Security and "Intelligent Design," to the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and South America, and Asia. Yeah, pretty busy.

    The U.S. concept of a "just war" just got blown up.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Chinese Yankee

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Ruthanne Lum McCunn
    • Narrated By James Chen
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Chinese Yankee by Ruthanne Lum McCunn tells the true story of Hong Kong born Thomas Sylvanus (Ah Yee Way), an orphan brought to America for schooling in the mid-1850s, but enslaved in Baltimore. Only sixteen at the outbreak of war, Thomas ran north, joined the Freedom Army, and was blinded in the first major campaign. He failed to fully recover his sight and, deemed incapable of performing the duties of a soldier, was discharged.

    Susie says: "Unbelievable Tale from China to the Union Army"
    "Unbelievable Tale from China to the Union Army"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This is a singular, almost unbelievable, story; a Chinese boy is taken by his benefactress to 1800s America to become a missionary, but gets tricked into slavery, escapes and joins the Union Army in the Civil War. It's one of those "against all odds" stories that make you wonder at the resiliency of the human spirit. I was quickly invested in the fate of Ah Yee Way.

    Ruthanne McCunn has a stripped-down writing style that makes the action sound like it's being reported rather than made up. James Chen's narration gives brilliant life to the words, his differing characters, accents and voices, create a 3-D world in your ears. Together, you get a harrowing, and vivid experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gun Street Girl: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel, The Troubles, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (170)
    Performance
    (155)
    Story
    (156)

    Belfast, 1985. Amid the Troubles, Detective Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, struggles with burnout as he investigates a brutal double murder and suicide. Did Michael Kelly really shoot his parents at point-blank range and then jump off a nearby cliff? A suicide note points to this conclusion, but Duffy suspects even more sinister circumstances.

    Top of Mind says: "Another McKinty Gem"
    "Be Still My Freakin’ Detective Duffy Heart!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Gun Street Girl?

    I could read a Duffy novel every week. Detective Sean is an improbable Irish Catholic cop on an all Protestant police force, during “The Troubles.” You wonder how he gets out the door every morning.

    Although the character is fictional, McKinty takes his anti-hero and puts him into the most insane real-life historical twists. You start to feel like it MUST have happened.


    What did you like best about this story?

    When you find out the American political twist on what appears to local sectarian murders HOLY SH*T. I screamed.


    What does Gerard Doyle bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Gerard has inhabited the Sean Duffy character for quite a while now. We BELIEVE him utterly. I know that real Irish must laugh at what Americans think is an Northern Irish accent, but hey, it WORKS FOR US.


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

    Oh yes. The suspense is insane. The black humor is deadly. My barely suppressed longing for Duffy is never-ending. The political surprise at the end made me holler, and then I wouldn’t tell my partner what happened and we had to wait two weeks to talk about it openly.


    Any additional comments?

    I produce a lot of books at Audible, and listen to audio titles of all kinds, constantly. But political mystery fiction is my favorite escape, and John Le Carre’s classics, and Adrian McKinty are my GO TO.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Electric City

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Rosner
    • Narrated By Elizabeth Rosner
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Upstate New York, at the confluence of the great Hudson River and its mighty tributary the Mohawk from this stunning landscape came the creation of a new world of science. In 1887, Thomas Edison moved his Edison Machine Works here and in 1892, it became the headquarters of a major manufacturing company, giving the town its nickname: Electric City.

    Susie says: "Ambitious and Poetic"
    "Ambitious and Poetic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rosner tells a beautiful tale that connects the threads of history and its effects through generations.

    Starting with the harnessing of electricity in Schenectady, she writes of scientific discovery, Dutch settlers, and the Native Americans who already had a relationship with the land. She connects these people and ideas through time to their descendants, teenagers caught in a love triangle, who come to feel like real people.

    "Electric City's" rich literary language and attention to historical detail make it feel both etherial and poetic; and vividly worldly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs)
    • By Sara Benincasa
    • Narrated By Sara Benincasa
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    One of the funniest and most poignant books ever written about a mental illness, Agorafabulous! is a hilarious, raw, and unforgettable account of how a terrified young woman, literally trapped by her own imagination, evolved into a (relatively) high-functioning professional smartass. Down to earth and seriously funny, Benincasa's no-holds-barred revelations offer listeners the politically incorrect hilarity they heartily crave, yet is so often missing from your typical, weepy, and redemptive personal memoir.

    Susie says: "More Fun than a Good Cry in a Bathroom Stall"
    "More Fun than a Good Cry in a Bathroom Stall"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Sara Benincasa addresses anxiety and depression; suicide and run-of-the-mill high school antipathy from a perspective that lets you know— not that everything will be ok, but that you can cry and laugh at once at the same thing.

    Agorafabulous! began as a one woman show. What Sara brings to this audiobook is the skills to enthrall an audience. She can tell a yarn about standing in line for two hours in order to donate blood, and you are ready to hear more. She's spontaneous, genuine, and awkward when it suits.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • You Can’t Catch Death: A Daughter’s Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ianthe Brautigan
    • Narrated By Ianthe Brautigan
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In all of the obituaries and writing about Richard Brautigan that appeared after his suicide, none revealed to Ianthe Brautigan the father she knew. Though it took all of her courage, she delved into her memories, good and bad, to retrieve him, and began to write. You Can't Catch Death is a frank, courageous, heartbreaking reflection on both a remarkable man and the child he left behind.

    Susie says: "Astute, Bright, and Sorrowful"
    "Astute, Bright, and Sorrowful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Richard Brautigan was one of my first literary loves. His novels and poetry inspired me, as a teenager, to become a poet and writer myself. His daughter, Ianthe Brautigan, has her own rich, poetic style and her memoir stands on its own merit.

    Ianthe was close to her father, and like many children of alcoholics and divorce, she was put in the role of nurturer at an early age. She speaks from the beginning of being lost at parties and her father's "kid in a candy store" glee when stocking up on alcohol. Even so, her love for and appreciation of her father are clear from the first lines. The grief she feels when he pulls away and ends communication and for his suicide is heartbreaking.

    Brautigan relates the oddness and elation of being brought up rootless in the sixties counter-culture, from San Francisco's old-world North Beach, Idaho, Japan, and Hawaii, Ianthe has a crisp memory for detail, and brings the viewpoint of the child she was along with the perspective of time.

    This memoir is an exploration of the fault lines in her family going back generations and a navigation of the grief caused by her ailing father. Suicide and alcoholism run right through the audiobook, but somehow, they don't bring it down. Ianthe finds the brightness in all the dark places.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Kazuaki Tanahashi
    • Narrated By Brian Nishii
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (15)

    Ryokan (1758–1831) is, along with Dogen and Hakuin, one of the three giants of Zen in Japan. But unlike his two renowned colleagues, Ryokan was a societal dropout, living mostly as a hermit and a beggar. He was never head of a monastery or temple. He liked playing with children. He had no dharma heir. Even so, people recognized the depth of his realization, and he was sought out by people of all walks of life for the teaching to be experienced in just being around him.

    Susie says: "The Great Fool"
    "The Great Fool"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ryokan, "The Great Fool," is, perhaps, the scruffiest of the great Zen Master poets. His writings, and in particular, Kazuaki Tanahashi's translation, convey the experiences of a breathing person, irreverent and humorous while holding deep sorrow, loneliness, and wisdom. He portrays a universe playing tricks on us all.

    Brian Nishii is a fantastic narrator. He is clear, has a good sense of timing and his enthusiasm for the reading is evident.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Scarlet

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By A. C. Gaughen
    • Narrated By Helen Stern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (54)

    Posing as one of Robin Hood's thieves to avoid the evil Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only Big John and Robin Hood know the truth - that the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. It's getting harder to hide as Gisbourne's camp seeks to find Scarlet and drive Robin Hood out of Nottinghamshire. But Scarlet's instinct for self-preservation is at war with a strong sense of responsibility to the people who took her in when she was on the run, and she finds it's not so easy to turn her back on her band and townspeople.

    Sash & Em: A Tale of Two Bookies says: "One of my favorite reads of the year!"
    "Gender Bending in Sherwood Forrest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Action, romance, and gender-bending in medieval England; Scarlet is satisfying in every way.

    When my daughter was three, she was swept up in the legend of Robin Hood. She dressed up in green and shot imaginary arrows all through the house. She thought nothing of playing a “boy” character. By the time she was four, she’d learned enough at pre-school to know that the only place in the Robin Hood story for girls, was as Maid Marion: waiting.

    But Scarlet is waiting for no one. She's on the run from the malevolent Lord Gisbourne and has joined Robin Hood's Merry Men as a boy. Nobody but Robin and Big John knows her secret.

    Scarlet can take care of herself. “Rob and John shot daggers at each other. With their eyes, leastways. I’m the only one who shoots real daggers.”

    But that doesn’t preclude some tantalizing romantic tension between her and Robin, “'I’ll keep your heart, Scar,' he whispered. 'If you keep mine.'”

    Narrated by the honey-voiced Helen Stern, a veteran romance and erotica reader, she brings just the right amount of swagger and vulnerability to our heroine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • No Land's Man: A Perilous Journey through Romance, Islam, and Brunch

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Aasif Mandvi
    • Narrated By Aasif Mandvi
    Overall
    (72)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (63)

    If you're an Indo-Muslim-British-American actor who has spent more time in bars than mosques over the past few decades, turns out it's a little tough to explain who you are or where you are from. In No Land's Man Aasif Mandvi explores this and other conundrums through stories about his family, ambition, desire, and culture that range from dealing with his brunch-obsessed father, to being a high-school-age Michael Jackson impersonator, to joining a Bible study group in order to seduce a nice Christian girl, to improbably becoming America's favorite Muslim/Indian/Arab/Brown/Doctor correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

    The Reading Date says: "Witty and Thoughtful"
    "Funny, Poignant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Aasif Mandvi is familiar to me as a correspondent for the Daily Show, and true to expectations, this audiobook is funny all the way though. But Mandvi sneaks in a serious, vulnerable, and loving side of himself too that gets at the heart of his experiences with racism, immigration, and family relationships.

    His description of his father's schemes to get a discount at a series of IHoPs on a road trip across the South are a hilarious contrast with going from auditions for "Aladin" and snake charmer type roles to -- after September 11th, Terrorist, terrorist, terrorist.

    His performance brings out aspects in the book that I probably would have missed in print. It's a superb performance.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Ben Franklin: Unplugged: .... And Other Comic Monologues

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Josh Kornbluth
    • Narrated By Josh Kornbluth
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Gazing into the bathroom mirror one morning while shaving, Josh Kornbluth realizes that he looks remarkably like the guy on the $100 bill. Like any good Jewish son, he immediately calls his mother. From there he becomes obsessed with what it means to be a founding father, especially when your own father/son relationship (Ben had an illegitimate son named William who was a British loyalist during the Revolutionary War) is more than a bit strained.

    Susie says: "Satirical Disembowelment"
    "Satirical Disembowelment"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Please Don’t Tickle Me, Ben Franklin, You Crazy Diamond! ​

    If you haven't peed your pants listening to Josh Kornbluth, you haven't LIVED.​ Kornbluth is a master storyteller and his comic timing is peerless.​

    After noticing a passing resemblance to Ben Franklin in the mirror, Josh Kornbluth embarks on a journey of—well not exactly ​SELF​-discovery. ​More like satrical disembowelment. ​

    I laughed til I cried.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Cinderland: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Amy Jo Burns
    • Narrated By Jorjeana Marie
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Amy Jo Burns grew up in Mercury, Pennsylvania, an industrial town humbled by the steel collapse of the 1980s. Instead of the construction booms and twelve-hour shifts her parents’ generation had known, the Mercury Amy Jo knew was marred by empty houses, old strip mines, and vacant lots. The year Burns turned ten, this sleepy town suddenly woke up. Howard Lotte, its beloved piano teacher, was accused of sexually assaulting his female students.

    Susie says: "Small Town Burning"
    "Small Town Burning"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Amy Jo Burns makes vivid the confines of small town life. That the choices involved in defining a girl's own self will have consequences in her treatment by the town—long after she should have outgrown any labels.

    When the town's piano teacher is accused of molesting his students, she's perceptive enough to know that the girls who come forward will be branded and ostracized. She says, "In a small town, innocence can never be overrated. Innocence is a small town girl's currency. It's better not to know what you don't know and to un-know what you already do."

    But her own choice of staying quiet burns her up on the inside.

    Amy Jo Burns is observant and self reflective without being self-centered. Her writing is fluid and beautiful while being as real as it gets.

    Narrator, Jorjeanna Marie gives such an unaffected performance that there is no divide between story and reader. It sounds like she's telling her own secrets.

    This book deserves to be heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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